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Land reform body marks first anniversary

Scotland’s land reform body marks its first anniversary today, Sunday 1 April 2018.

The creation of the Scottish Land Commission to shape and drive a programme of land reform, spanning both urban and rural Scotland, has been a significant step in making more of the nation’s land.

During the year the Commission has begun a number of reviews looking at:

  • Community right to buy mechanisms
  • Land value taxation
  • Land value capture
  • Impact of the scale and concentration of land ownership
  • Opportunities to improve access to land for new entrants to farming.

The Commission has also begun delivering real change on the ground, as Chair Andrew Thin explains:

“We have started an ambitious programme of work which involves not only policy and legislative change but also supporting positive cultural change.

“The Commission is working to increase understanding that the people of Scotland do have a say in the way land around them is owned, managed and used. We plan to extend the Codes of Practice we have developed over the past year for the agricultural sector to encourage more positive engagement in a number of other areas.

“We are building on what already works well in the tenant farming sector by using good practice outlined in the Codes to provide clarity to all sides. We have recently appointed two Community Engagement Advisers to provide direct advice to land owners and communities on involvement in land use decision making.

“We will also continue with the high level of public engagement established in the first year by getting out and speaking to people across Scotland.

“It has been a busy and exciting time for the Commission. We look forward to progressing land reform in the year ahead, helping to deliver greater public benefits for all of Scotland.”

Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“A year on from its creation, the Commission is making great strides in its ambitious programme of work. The Scottish Government and the Commission share the same goal: to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from our land reform agenda.

“I look forward to continuing to build on a productive working relationship in pursuit of that aim. There is much more work to do – we may be on a long journey but the destination is a fairer, more prosperous Scotland.”

Annual Review highlighting commissions work in 2017-18