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Scottish Land Commission welcomes “meaningful” Land Reform Bill

The Scottish Land Commission has today welcomed the introduction of the Land Reform Bill by the Scottish Government, which sets out a clear commitment to addressing the challenges of concentrated land ownership.  

Commenting on the Bill, Michael Russell, Chair of the Scottish Land Commission, explains: “We are pleased to welcome the publication of the Scottish Government’s new Land Reform Bill, which draws on our research and analysis. This landmark legislation is a meaningful and important step forward in addressing the over-concentration of land ownership, which continues to be a central issue in Scotland’s ongoing journey of land reform.

“Our research has consistently shown the pitfalls associated with such a concentration of land ownership, including the impacts that localised monopolies can have on local economic opportunities and communities.”

One of the key measures proposed within the Bill is a new power for Ministers to require the lotting, or dividing up, of larger land holdings in to smaller areas and a requirement to notify communities prior to sale.

Hamish Trench, Chief Executive of the Scottish Land Commission, added: “Scotland’s land is a resource that people need to be able to use to support jobs, housing, climate action and economic opportunities across the country. The proposed measures in the Bill, including a new power for Ministers to require the lotting of large land holdings prior to sale, are significant steps towards a fairer and more dynamic approach to land ownership in Scotland.”

“Our research shows that governments worldwide often regulate land markets to safeguard the public interest and support sustainable development.  In so doing Scotland would be operating within a widely recognised and accepted approach to land rights and regulation.”

“We look forward to providing further evidence and advice to support the Bill’s consideration in Parliament,” he added.