Land rights and responsibilities statement: consultation analysis

Analysis of responses to the land rights and responsibilities statement consultation, which closed on 10 March 2017.

10. Views on Principle 5 of the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement

Principle 5

Information on land should be publicly available, clear and detailed.

Question 8: Do you agree with Principle 5 of the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement? Please provide comments.

10.1 51 (82%) respondents answered the first part of Question 8. Of these, 46 agreed with Principle 5 of the Statement. Table 10.1 summarises views by category of respondent.

Table 10.1 Views on Principle 5 by category of respondent

Category Agree Disagree No. of respondents providing a view
National NGOs 14 0 14
Private Sector and Professional Bodies 5 1 6
Community Organisations and their Representative Bodies 5 0 5
Government and NDPBs 2 0 2
Academic 1 0 1
Total Organisations 27 1 28
Total Individuals 19 4 23
Grand total 46 5 51

10.2 Most of the individuals and organisations who provided a view agreed with Principle 5.

10.3 42 respondents provided further relevant commentary in response to Question 8, and their views are summarised below.

General views in support of Principle 5

10.4 Several respondents, from a range of sectors, identified key advantages of Principle 5 to be increased transparency and accountability. Private sector companies and National NGOs highlighted improved communication between stakeholders as a potentially positive outcome, with better co-ordination of activities and collaborative ventures.

10.5 A National NGO considered the Principle helpful in supporting investigations towards the viability of physical regeneration ideas and plans. Another viewed the Principle as playing a key role in safeguarding the public interest.

10.6 A few National NGOs stated that they agreed with the ethos of the Principle but not all of the wording. In particular, they suggested that there needs to be more explicit reference to increasing the transparency of ownership.

Views on possible additions to Principle 5

10.7 One National NGO requested that landlord and letting agency registers also be maintained as part of open information.

10.8 Another considered that there should be emphasis on land use in the data, for example, linking with spatial strategies, local development plans, and so on; and that local authority and public agency asset transfer registers should be referenced.

10.9 A private company suggested that “land” should include public goods and assets on that land.

Views on realising Principle 5

10.10 A few respondents requested that loopholes leading to data being hidden or obscured should be identified and addressed, in order to support Principle 5.

10.11 Another view from a few respondents was that the Principle should be pro-actively encouraged, so that more information becomes in the public domain, not just that which already exists.

10.12 Some respondents considered that the information should be freely available, or available for a nominal charge only, to promote its accessibility. Others emphasised the need for good quality information, with data providers and users having confidence in the security and accuracy of the information.

Views on the limitations of Principle 5

10.13 The main view was that provision of the information could be costly and onerous for landowners to provide.

10.14 A private company suggested that what is then done with this information and what it is used to measure, should be carefully considered in enacting this Principle.


Email: Chris Bierley,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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