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
1.3. Defining the Community

1.3. Defining the Community

1.3.1. The members of the "community" must be resident in the defined area and be registered to vote in a local government election at an address within the area. The Part 3A CB must choose how to define the "community", but it must be in accordance with the options under section 97D(9)(a) of the Act and regulation 17 of the Community Right to Buy Regulations 2018 (no. 201).

How should the Part 3A CB define the "community"?

1.3.2. The application form requires that the Part 3A CB provide the definition of their "community" as set out in the Part 3A CB's governing documents. The "community" can be defined in a number of ways. These are by reference to a postcode unit or units, or a prescribed type of area (or a combination of both such unit and a single type of prescribed area).

1.3.3. The "prescribed areas" are:

  • Postcode area – an area of land covered by the first one or two letters of the postcode (e.g. EH) in which your Part 3A CB is situated;
  • Postcode district – an area of land covered by the first half of a full postcode, (e.g. EH11), in which your Part 3A CB is situated;
  • Postcode sector – an area of land covered by the first full half of a postcode, the single space and the first character of the second half of the postcode, (e.g. EH11 3), in which your Part 3A CB is situated;
  • Postcode unit(s) – an area of land covered by the full postcode, (e.g. EH11 3XD);
  • Settlement area – an area of high density of residential and non-residential addresses, with a population of over 500 people. The boundaries of settlements are delineated on the maps included in the Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland, Mid-2016, published on 12 March 2016. This is available through the following link: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/population/population-estimates/settlements-and-localities
  • Locality – settlements are divided into localities, which are smaller, but distinct parts. The boundaries of these are delineated on the maps included in the Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland, Mid-2016, published on 12 March 2016. This is available through the following link: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/population/population-estimates/settlements-and-localities
  • Electoral ward – electoral wards are used by local authorities in elections and is a ward within the meaning of section 1 of the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004. Part 3A CBs should be aware that an electoral ward can cut through postcode units;
  • Community council area – this means an area of a community council established in accordance with Part IV of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. Part 3A CBs should be aware that an electoral ward can cut through postcode units;
  • Island – an area of land surrounded by water, usually seawater, e.g. Barra, Isle of Eigg, Isle of Bute.

1.3.4. When deciding on the area of the "community" the Part 3A CB should work through the list of units and types of area to consider how each of them would work in practice before coming to a decision on what unit and/or type of area best suits their needs. The Part 3A CB may decide that one or a combination of the various units and a single type of area is best suited to their needs.

1.3.5. When deciding what unit and type of area is to be used, the Part 3A CB should be aware that their boundaries may change over time. They should also be aware that the boundaries of some may not exactly follow those of others (e.g. an electoral ward may not follow the boundaries of postcodes). The Part 3A CB should ensure that the information with the application is up-to-date.

1.3.6. It is for the Part 3A CB to include how they have defined the "community" in the application form.

1.37. It is important that the defined community is not made up of a number of individual pockets of residents, interspersed over a wider area. In determining any application for consent to acquire land, Ministers will tend to look for an inclusive approach to the definition of "community", unless there is a good reason for the split.

The Communities Mapping Tool

1.3.8. The Part 3A CB can identify units and types of areas using the Communities Mapping Tool.

1.3.9. This electronic tool has been designed to help Part 3A CBs, as well as CBs under Part 2 of the Act (community right to buy), and crofting community bodies under Part 3 of the Act (crofting community right to buy), to define their community. The tool can be used to identify, for example, postcode units, postcode sectors, postcode districts, electoral wards, community council areas, settlement areas, localities and islands.


Contact

Email: Community Land Team