Land rights and responsibilities statement: consultation analysis

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

3. Views on the Statement’s Policy Context


The Statement sets out high-level principles to inform detailed policy work, and will interrelate with many existing and future strategy and policy documents. Key amongst these are the National Performance Framework; Scotland’s Economic Strategy; the Land Use Strategy; and the National Planning Framework.

It is intended that the Strategy complements these existing frameworks in addition to guiding the creation of future land use policies.

The consultation provided a table (page 13 of the consultation document) setting out the relationship between the Statement and other key Government policy and strategy documents. Due to the breadth of policy areas and topics which are relevant to land, the consultation acknowledged that the table could not be fully comprehensive.

Question 1: Have we captured the range of policy areas to which you think the land rights and responsibilities statement should be relevant?

3.1 44 (71%) respondents answered the closed aspect of this question. Of these, 33 considered that the table in the consultation document had captured the range of policy areas to which the Statement should be relevant; and 11 did not agree that the range of policy areas have been captured. Table 3.1 overleaf summarises views by category of respondent.

3.2 The balance of views was similar across organisations and individuals, with around three-quarters of the respondents in both of these broad categories considering that the range of policy areas had been captured. All of the Community Organisations and their Representative Bodies, the Government and NDPB respondents and the Academic Body were of this view.

3.3 30 respondents provided further relevant commentary and their views are summarised below.

General commentary on the policy context

3.4 Several respondents remarked on the wide range of policy areas which interact with land rights and responsibilities, with a shared appreciation of the importance of developing a strong and clear Statement. A few of the National NGOs commented that the Statement has a valuable role in pulling together the many and varied land use related policies and their outcomes.

3.5 Whilst respondents acknowledged that the table outlining the Statement’s policy context was not intended to be fully comprehensive, a few considered that further work is required on the rationale for including certain elements over others. Some perceived the table to be inconsistent or even confusing, with one National NGO recommending expanding the table to encompass all relevant material.

Table 3.1 Views on whether the range of relevant policy areas has been captured in the consultation document table

Category Yes – range of policy areas captured No – range of policy areas are not captured No. of respondents providing a view
National NGOs 7 4 11
Private Sector and Professional Bodies 2 3 5
Community Organisations and their Representative Bodies 6 0 6
Government and NDPBs 2 0 2
Academic 1 0 1
Total Organisations 18 7 25
Total Individuals 15 4 19
Grand total 33 11 44

3.6 Several respondents identified elements of the table which they particularly welcomed:

  • Sustainable Development Goals (International Standards)
  • Fairer Scotland Action Plan (National Plans and Strategies)
  • Scotland’s Economic Strategy (National Plans and Strategies)
  • Land Use Strategy (Land Strategies)
  • National Planning Framework 3 (Land Strategies)
  • Historic Environment (Related National Policy)
  • The Future of Agriculture (Related National Policy)
  • Regeneration Strategy (Related National Policy)
  • Creating Places (Related National Policy)
  • Scottish Planning Policy (Related National Policy)

Suggestions for additions to the policy context table

3.7 Many respondents suggested items to add to the table on page 13 of the consultation document. These are summarised below in order of the sections in the table:

Human Rights and International Standards

  • Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention).
  • European Landscape Convention and associated Scottish Landscape Charter.
  • Paris Convention on Climate Change.
  • Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe.

National Performance Framework

  • Our children have the best start in life and are ready to succeed.
  • We live longer, healthier lives.
  • We realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our young people.

Land Strategies

  • Scottish Land Court (for its role in dispute resolution)

Related National Policies

  • Explicit mention of the current planning consultation and the proposals for a new framework for planning. Also, suggestion that planning is added to the diagram on page 12 of the consultation which aims to capture the main topics which interact with land rights and responsibilities.
  • Child Poverty Strategy.
  • Play Strategy (linked to Physical Activity Implementation Plan).
  • Utilities – water, sewerage.
  • Connectivity – fast broadband; mobile phone reception.
  • Energy generation – low carbon energy initiatives.
  • Infrastructure Investment Plan 2015.
  • Draft Peatland and Energy Policy Statement.
  • Business – rural economy; using land as a source of public revenue (e.g. by way of annual ground rent).
  • Scottish Landscape Charter and landscape protections (also mentioned in relation to international standards above).
  • Land as a habitat for wild animals; Wild Deer: a National Approach.
  • Outdoor recreation.
  • Sustainable management of topsoil.


Email: Chris Bierley,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

Back to top