Improving the transparency of land ownership: consultation on draft regulations

Views sought on proposals to help people and communities engage with those who control decision-making.

Ministerial Foreword

Improving transparency of land ownership in Scotland is at the very heart of progressing land reform in Scotland. The proposals that we are consulting on will help people and communities to know more about, and engage with, the individuals who control the decision making of land owners and tenants of land in Scotland.

The proposals are the result of a Government amendment at Stage 3 of the passage of what is now the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016. The amendment was unanimously supported, a recognition of the importance of transparency in empowering people and communities to influence how Scotland's land is owned and managed.

The passage of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 was a substantial step for land reform in Scotland, and we have made good progress in implementing its provisions.

The Scottish Land Commission became operational in April 2017. I published the Scottish Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement in September 2017, followed by the Guidance in Engaging Communities in Decisions relating to Land in April this year.

A new Right to Buy to Further Sustainable Development is being developed, to follow the new Right to Buy Abandoned, Neglected and Detrimental Land which came into force in June 2018. These will both deliver more land to Scotland's communities.

Land is one of Scotland's most fundamental and prized assets, and it is only right that everyone benefits from it. These measures, and the proposals we are now consulting on, are helping towards that goal.

We have worked extensively with stakeholders across Scotland to produce the draft regulations and draft explanatory document setting out our proposals for a Register of Persons Holding a Control Interest in Land. They mark a significant step on the way to delivering greater transparency of land ownership in Scotland. Our proposals, together with information already publicly available, will ensure that there can no longer be categories of land owner or tenant where control of decision-making is obscured.

After this consultation has concluded we will take into account what people have said as we consider our proposals again. We will then lay in the Scottish Parliament a further draft of the regulations and an updated version of the explanatory document that explains any changes made. Only after that process is concluded will we lay the regulations in draft as we would with any other affirmative secondary legislation.

Throughout this process we will take a truly collaborative approach to legislation which can benefit all of us in Scotland, and I urge all who have views, experiences and ideas to contribute to engage with us.

Roseanna Cunningham Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform
Roseanna Cunningham

Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform


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