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 promoting and enabling land reform by:
- supporting the Scottish Land Commission to provide direction, leadership and strategic thought to land reform
- providing financial support through the Scottish Land Fund to help communities take ownership of land and buildings
- 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)
- setting a target of one million acres of land in community ownership by 2020
Scotland’s system of land ownership, use, rights and responsibilities has evolved over time in a way that does not always enable everyone to benefit. We decided to review how land is owned, used and managed in Scotland to ensure that everyone in Scotland can benefit from it.
In 2012 we commissioned an independent review of land reform which took evidence from more than 400 people, communities and organisations. The Land Reform Review Group published its report, The land of Scotland and the common good, in May 2014.
We welcomed the overall findings of the report and committed to bringing forward a Land Reform Bill within the Parliamentary term. We consulted on the future of land reform in Scotland between December 2014 and February 2015 to gather views on the proposed legislation.
Meanwhile, the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in June 2014 and given royal assent on 24 July 2015. The Act addressed a number of recommendations in the Land Reform Review Group's report.
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.
On 28 September 2017 the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, launched the Scottish land rights and responsibilities statement.
Bills and legislation
The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 made various changes addressing community rights in relation to land.
The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016established the Scottish Land Commission and made provision for various changes to land ownership and management.
In 2019 we are holding a series of information events for the public about using community right to buy legislation.
See slides of presentation about community land ownership from The Gathering 2019 event in Glasgow.
Community Rights to Buy, Scottish Land Fund, Million Acre Target
Community Land Team
Community Right to Buy phone number: 0300 244 9822 or 0300 244 1945
Crofting Community Right to Buy phone number: 0300 244 9817
Register of Controlling Interests, Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016