Land reform in a Net Zero Nation: consultation paper

The next Land Reform Bill will make important changes to the framework of law and policy that govern the system of ownership, management and use of land in Scotland. This consultation sets out the Scottish Government's proposals for the Bill and seeks views on a range of land-related issues.

Part 3: Overview

This consultation contains several proposals for inclusion in the next Bill. In addition, we also invite respondents to give us views on other ideas and proposals, which may or may not be included in the Bill.

The first three proposals we put forward are aimed at tackling the issues associated with scale and concentration of land ownership in Scotland. It is our intention that these proposals would apply to large-scale landholdings, and in general, would not apply to smaller landholdings and family farms. We therefore seek views on the criteria for defining 'large-scale' landholdings in Part 4 of this consultation, and then consider the following three proposals this definition could relate to:

  • Strengthening the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement (Part 5);
  • Compulsory Land Management Plans (Part 6); and
  • Measures to regulate the market in large-scale landholdings (Part 7).

The Scottish Government is firmly committed to bringing about "net zero" carbon emissions via a just transition. This will mean making changes in the use of land, and taking action on nature restoration and biodiversity. We need to ensure that those in receipt of public money meet public expectations in relation to these goals.

We aim to ensure that those with the broadest shoulders bear the greatest burden, in relation to achieving these goals. We have a longstanding commitment to ensure that tenant farmers in particular are not disadvantaged by our efforts to tackle these issues. We are therefore proposing to include in the Bill the following measures:

  • New conditions on those in receipt of public funding for land based activity (Part 8); and
  • A new land use tenancy for tenant farmers (Part 9).

In part 10 we ask respondents whether they wish to be involved in a future consultation on small landholdings. In Part 11 we discuss transparency about who owns, controls and benefits from Scotland's land, and explore whether more can be done. Finally, in Part 12 we seek views on a range of land related reforms.



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