We are improving Scotland's system of land ownership, use, rights and responsibilities, so that our land may contribute to a fair and just society while balancing public and private interests.
We are progressing land reform by:
- promoting the seven principles of the Scottish Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement
- asking the Scottish Land Commission to review land issues and provide evidence-based recommendations for change to Ministers
- providing financial support through the Scottish Land Fund to help communities take ownership of land and buildings
- providing forms and guidance for the right to buy land to further sustainable development
- providing guidance for community right to buy
- providing guidance for community right to buy abandoned, neglected or detrimental land
- providing guidance for crofting community right to buy
- developing draft regulations for a register of persons holding a controlled interest in land
- providing guidance on engaging communities in decisions about land
- providing guidance on asset transfer
- providing a community mapping tool to assist communities in defining their boundaries and areas (see also mapping tool guidance)
- publishing the second Statement of Land Rights and Responsibilities in September 2022 (originally published September 2017), as required by Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016
- consulting on proposals for a new Land Reform Bill
Following the independent review and report on land reform, the land of Scotland and the common good, we consulted on the future of land reform in Scotland between December 2014 and February 2015 to gather views on proposed legislation.
The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill was given royal assent on 24 July 2015 and the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in June 2015, and given royal assent on 22 April 2016.
In April 2017 we set up the Scottish Land Commission as a new statutory public body to engage with the public and advise ministers on land reform.
Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement
In September 2022, the then Minister for Environment and Land Reform, Máiri McAllan, launched the Second Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement, which provides the framework for the current and future land reform. Land reform in Scotland, including matters relating to the ownership, use and management of land and associated rights and responsibilities, is continually evolving. The first Statement was published in 2017, and it has been revised to ensure that it remains relevant to current Scottish land issues.
The Scottish Land Commission has produced a series of Land Rights and Responsibilities Protocols, which provide practical advice on the Statement’s implementation.
The review of the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement was found to be exempt from impact assessments.
Extent of community ownership
The extent of community ownership is monitored by the Community Ownership in Scotland statistical publication which also informs the National Indicator on community ownership. We are aware there may be instances of community ownership which are not currently included in this publication. We've published a form for reporting information about instances of community ownership. We can then consider these for inclusion in the next update to the publication.
Land Reform Bill consultation
Our consultation Land Reform in a Net Zero Scotland closed on 30 October 2022. The results will be independently analysed and a report published. You can see the responses to the consultation for which permission to publish has been granted.
Bills and legislation
The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 made various changes addressing community rights in relation to land.
The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 established the Scottish Land Commission and made provision for various changes to land ownership and management.
Community right to buy
Community Land Team
Register of Controlling Interests, Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016