The right to buy land to further sustainable development: consultation

Consultation on regulations to bring Part 5 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 into force.

2. Definition of Community Area

Regulatory Powers

Subsection 49(9)(a)

Background and context

Subsection 49(9)(a) provides that a Part 5 community body is defined by reference to a postcode unit or a type of area that Scottish Ministers may by regulations specify.

It is necessary to define a community body for the purposes of Part 5.

We want a way to fairly include all people in the local community, not just some people or particular interest groups. Scottish Ministers will not approve an application unless they are satisfied, in addition to the application meeting the sustainable development and procedural conditions, that the Part 5 community body is seeking to act in the interests of the local community as demonstrated by the ballot.

The ballot to determine whether a right to buy application should go ahead will be a secret ballot of all people in the community, and it is therefore important to be explicit about who will be balloted. Those who will be balloted are those whom the Part 5 community body have defined as their relevant community.


The Scottish Government's view is that the best ways of defining a local community for the purposes of a Part 5 application is allow for the same ways of defining a community that have been set down for Part 2 and Part 3A communities, which have been developed for similar purposes and are tried and tested.

We propose that for the purposes of Part 5, the types of area by reference to which a community is defined can be:

  • an electoral ward within the meaning of section 1 of the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004;
  • the area of a community council established in accordance with Part IV of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973;
  • a postcode area, being an area given a unique alphabetic coding to facilitate the delivering of mail, being identified by one or two alphabetical characters at the start of the full postcode, the letters being derived from a town, city or district falling within that postcode area;
  • a postcode district, being a sub-area of a postcode area, identified by the characters within the first half of a full postcode, which may be numeric, alphabetic or alpha-numeric;
  • a postcode sector, being a sub-area of a postcode district, identified by the number third from the end of a postcode unit;
  • an island;
  • a settlement delineated on the maps included in the Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland, Mid-2016 published on 12th March 2018; or
  • a locality delineated on the maps included in the Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland, Mid-2016 published on 12th March 2018.

These are based on SSI 2018 No. 140, the Community Right to Buy (Abandoned, Neglected or Detrimental Land) (Applications, Ballots and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Regulations 2018, regulation 17, which define the types of community areas that may be referred to for Part 3A, see:

Question 5A

Do you agree with the Scottish Government's proposals for defining Part 5 community areas?

Yes / No / Partially agree

If you wish, please provide further details.

Question 5B

Please feel free to suggest any further types of area that could be used as a basis for defining a Part 5 community area, and the reasons why you believe they would be useful.



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