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Scale and Concentration of land ownership in Scotland

Scotland’s land reform body is calling for evidence about the impact of concentration of land ownership in Scotland, as it publishes a report and discussion paper on the issue today Thursday 22 March, 2018.

The Scottish Land Commission research report looks at international approaches to limiting scale and concentration of land ownership.

It accompanies an independent discussion paper on land ownership issues in Scotland written by former MSP, Peter Peacock, designed to stimulate public debate.

At the same time as publishing the discussion paper and research report, the Commission is launching an open call for evidence of people’s experiences of issues associated with concentration of land ownership.

The purpose of the call for evidence is to help the Commission better understand the issues that people associate with concentrated land ownership from the perspective of those directly involved or affected.

It plans to publish a review later in 2018, and now wants to gather examples and evidence, both positive and negative, and to hear from people who live and/or work in areas where

  • the majority of land is owned by either a single individual or organisation or a very small number or individuals or organisations; and
  • the individuals and organisations have the power to make decisions about how this land is used, that affect the whole community

The Commission is looking particularly for responses from people with personal experience of the issues including individuals, community groups and land managers.

This work forms part of a wider review of the concentrated pattern of land ownership in Scotland and its potential impact on the public interest. Speaking about the review, The Commission’s CEO, Hamish Trench said,

“Scotland has an unusually concentrated pattern of land ownership compared to other countries and the pattern has remained largely unchanged for decades.

“Concern about the effects that this has on communities and the wider public interest has long been a central issue in the land reform debate in Scotland.

“We want to look beyond the headline statistics to understand what the underlying issues are and how they might best be addressed. This is core to modernising our system of land ownership in a way that people feel reflects Scotland’s current needs and ambitions”

Submissions made to the review will be treated in strict confidence.

To obtain the survey, please contact the Commission on 0300 244 4452 or email