The Scottish Land Commission came into being on 1 April 2017. There are six Commissioners, including one Tenant Farming Commissioner, supported by a small team of administrative staff, based in Inverness.
The commission was established under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 and its purpose is to provide direction, leadership and strategic thought to land reform in Scotland. In doing so it will support and enable the realisation of the Scottish Government’s vision of a Scotland where the ownership, management and use of land and buildings contributes to the collective benefit of everybody.
At its first annual conference on 28 September 2017, the Scottish Land Commission published a three year Strategic Plan, Making More of Scotland’s Land, which sets out the priorities for the Land Commission focusing on four key areas covering both urban and rural land:
- Land for housing and development – we want to reduce constraints to redeveloping vacant and derelict land for housing and other productive uses, improve land supply for housing and stimulate a more active approach to developing land in the public interest.
- Land ownership – the Land Commission will examine the impacts of scale and concentration of land ownership and tax policy, as well as reviewing the effectiveness of the Community Right to Buy mechanisms.
- Land Use Decision-making – the Land Commission will seek to improve the quality and accountability of decision making, providing guidance where necessary.
- Agricultural Holdings – we want to increase access to land for those who want to farm, improve the relationships between landowners and tenant farmers and stimulate the tenant farming sector.