Launch of Crofting Register
The first Crofting Register has been launched to give crofters legal certainty over their crofts.
The register is part of the modernisation of crofting the Scottish Government has undertaken as part of the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010. This has also included launching the majority-elected Crofting Commission which aims to meet the needs of crofting and crofters in the 21st century.
The establishment of a definitive map-based Crofting Register will remove doubt over what is croft land and who has rights and responsibilities for that land. It will also assist the Commission in effectively regulating crofting such as tackling absenteeism and neglect.
The Scottish Government has worked closely with the Registers of Scotland to ensure that any costs relating to the Register are kept to a minimum in order to benefit crofters. As well as meeting the full costs of developing the register a further £200,000 has been invested by the government towards the registration of croft land.
Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:
“Crofting is an important part of Scotland’s history and culture. The new register will provide certainty to crofters by establishing an accurate and legal record of their boundaries.
“This has been a great example of partnership working in practice. The Crofting Commission, the Registers of Scotland, and the Scottish Government have worked together to ensure that crofters have a robust register at the lowest cost possible.”
Crofting Commissioner Susan Walker said:
“The new Crofting Register represents a significant investment in crofting, which will provide legal certainty for holders of croft land and shareholders in common grazings. The idea of community mapping has considerable potential, not only to resolve boundary disputes which might arise during the mapping process, but as a collaborative process which could lead to wider benefits such as asset mapping and township planning. The Crofting Commission welcomes the commitment by the Scottish Government to the system of crofting which the new Crofting Register represents.”
Keeper of the Registers of Scotland Sheenagh Adams said:
“The Crofting Register is our seventeenth public register and we are delighted to have worked in close partnership with the Scottish Government and the Crofting Commission to deliver this successfully. We look forward to receiving applications to the Crofting Register, allowing crofts to be registered on a map-based system for the first time.”
From November 30, 2012 registration will be on a voluntary basis. From November 30, 2013 crofters will be required to register croft land where changes occur, for example in conjunction with a regulatory application to the Crofting Commission.
Crofting communities are encouraged to take a collective approach towards registration to qualify for the reduced registration fee for group registration of £70 per croft instead of £90. This is a 22 per cent reduction where 10 or more crofts are submitted in the same group or, in crofting townships of less than 10 crofts, where all crofts are submitted at the same time.