Publication - Advice and guidance

Community right to buy abandoned, neglected or detrimental land: full guidance

Published: 9 Nov 2018

Guidance in relation to Part 3A of Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 intended to support communities through the right to buy process from initial identification of land to the completion of a purchase.

Community right to buy abandoned, neglected or detrimental land: full guidance
1.9. Applying for consent to buy land

1.9. Applying for consent to buy land


1.9.1. Before a Part 3A CB applies to Ministers for consent to exercise the Part 3A right to buy, they must have received a letter from Ministers confirming that they are satisfied that the main purpose of the Part 3A CB is consistent with furthering the achievement of sustainable development (section 97(D)(6) of the Act). They must have also registered the Part 3A CB with Companies House (if the Part 3A CB is a CLBG), OSCR (if the Part 3A CB is a SCIO), or incorporated with the FCA (if the Part 3A CB is a BenCom). A timeline of the steps in the Part 3A right to buy process is noted in Annex A.

1.9.2. The Part 3A CB must use the official form to apply for consent to buy land under the Act. Statutory provision for these forms in made in schedule 1 of the Community Right to Buy Regulations 2018 (no. 140). The form must not be altered or any of the wording in it deleted. The form is available from the Scottish Government's website at: /publications/community-right-to-buy-abandoned-neglected-or-detrimental-land-application-form/.

1.9.3. An application must be received by Ministers within the 6 month period following the date of the ballot as required by section 97J(1) of the Act. The date of the ballot determines the last date on which the related application(s) can be made to Ministers. The Part 3A CB must ensure that the application is submitted within this period of time. Failure to do so will mean that Ministers will not consider the application.

1.9.4. The application form and all supporting documents such as maps, drawings, and plans (annexed where appropriate) and evidence demonstrating community support, and the governing documents, will be considered by Ministers when they consider whether the application for consent should be approved. It is essential that the application is completed in full and all supporting documentation is attached. It is important that all the details are accurate and legible and that all accompanying documents are clearly labelled or referenced. Incomplete applications will be returned and the application will not be considered (section 97G(15)(b) of the Act).

Completing the application form

1.9.5. The application form can be downloaded and completed electronically or downloaded and completed manually using black or blue ink and in capital letters. Additional pages may be attached. If additional pages are included, they must be clearly marked, showing the question number they refer to (e.g. section 3.3 – see Annex A). The Annex should also be referred to in the answer given in the application form.

The application form is divided into 10 sections, each focussing on a particular topic. These are:

(1) who is applying;

(2) details of who is applying;

(3) the land in respect of which the right to buy is sought to be exercised;

(4) ownership and interests;

(5) eligibility of land;

(6) steps taken to buy land;

(7) community support;

(8) proposals for the land;

(9) public interest; and

(10) declaration.

1.9.6. The declaration is particularly important. This sets out conditions which must be adhered to by the Part 3A CB when submitting their application. The Part 3A CB and the two signatories should ensure that they understand the declaration before it is signed.

1.9.7. The completed application form must be signed by two individuals (board members, charity trustees or committee members as appropriate), on behalf of the Part 3A CB, who have been authorised to do so by the Part 3A CB. They must also provide their full names and addresses for the purposes of prevention and detection of fraud.

1.9.8. If the Part 3A CB makes any inaccurate statement, provides inaccurate information, either deliberate or accidental, or knowingly withholds any information, these actions could result in Ministers deciding not to approve the application for consent.

1.9.9. The application will appear in the RoACBL, although it will be redacted as appropriate to ensure compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Maps, plans or other drawings

1.9.10. Maps, plans or other drawings accompanying the application form must comply with the Community Right to Buy Regulations 2018 (no. 140). In particular maps must:

  • be drawn to a metric scale corresponding to one used by the Ordnance Survey for that land (e.g. 1:10,000);
  • be taxative and not demonstrative only;
  • show the compass orientation of north;
  • contain map grid reference numbers and sufficient surrounding details (e.g. fences, houses etc.) to enable the position of the land to be fixed accurately;
  • show the boundaries of the land; and
  • where measurements are given, give those measurements to one decimal place.

1.9.11. Maps, plans or other drawings that do not comply with these requirements will be returned. This may result in a decision on the application being either delayed, or the application being declined to be considered.


Email: Community Land Team