Overcoming barriers to community land-based activities: gudiance

Guidance on good practice in overcoming barriers to community land-based activities.

Appendix A: Case studies of strategies adopted to overcome barriers to community land-based activities

Table 1. Case studies of strategies adopted to overcome barriers to community land-based activities (sorted by barrier type, cf. Roberts and McKee, 2015)


Community land-based activity pursued

Perceived barrier

Barrier type [10]

Resolution strategy


Community garden

Trustees of landowning trust all deceased; local authority reluctant to engage.


Community group working with solicitors representing landowning trust; have now agreed short term lease for growing.

Highlands and Islands

Community shop

Landowner unable to transfer ownership of property to community due to inalienable rights (and wishes of former owner who bequeathed land). Community unable to obtain funding without asset ownership


Long lease agreed and funding obtained from the Big Lottery Fund.

Highlands and Islands

Community purchase of foreshore.

Landowner can only sell to formally constituted community body.


Partnership/collaborative approach adopted; representative lawyers working together; landowner and community representatives in touch by email and developing relationship.

Highlands and Islands

Community-owned village hall

Due to conservation landowner with inalienable rights, transfer of ownership to community restricted.


Community has partially bought property, with remaining part leased from conservation landowner on 120 year lease.


Community allotments

Allotments developed on privately-owned site bought for supermarket development.


Community have approached landowner, who has agreed to find alternative site for allotments when development begins. Commitment both on part of community and landowner.

Badenoch and Strathspey

Community allotments

As a result of objections from neighbouring property owners; estate has pulled out of lease arrangement.


Alternative allotment sites sought by local councillor.

Highlands and Islands

Community purchase of estate.

Lack of affordability of estate market price to community body.


Community buy-out through traditional negotiation: 'friendly rather than statutory route', involving VOA. Due to affordability, community seeking to buy only part of estate.


Community-led housing

Community lacked funding/expertise to develop housing.


Private landowner willing to sell land; joint ownership agreed with housing association.


Asset transfer of harbour.

Lack of community representation; high maintenance and liability costs; lack of business plan.

F1, F3, G2/3

Landowner, local authority and community group have agreed 'Charrette-type' planning process.


Community garden

Legal fees to establish lease with landowner too expensive for community group.


Special purpose vehicle established for community group, therefore community operating as grounds maintenance company.


Community use of former walled garden

Two community groups seeking to buy same plot of land, but with different aims and intentions.


Unresolved - community groups reluctant to work together.


Community garden

Change of landowner requires 're-start' of negotiations by established community group.

[No barrier?]

Process of negotiation for land access starting again from outset.

Highlands and Islands

Community-led housing

Planning barrier, plus community not satisfied with sites suggested by private landowner; perceived lack of community vision.


Community involved local housing trust as objective mediator to achieve outcome (affordable housing).

Dumfries and Galloway

Community-owned village hall and business hub

Despite gift of land from private estate, community group unable to source necessary funding for development and agreed that group did not have skills required to progress project.

F1, G3

Estate took property back 'in hand' and leased to community at peppercorn rent. Estate also provided project management and additional financial support for development.

Dumfries and Galloway

Redevelopment of multi-purpose community facility

Community project management challenged by skill set and availability (capacity) of community group, pre- and post-development.


Community working with estate; estate took on project management with community group agreement.


Email: Graeme Beale, socialresearch@gov.scot

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