Publication - Advice and guidance

Planning Circular 5/2011: disposal of surplus government land

Planning Circular 5/2011 providing advice on the disposal of surplus government land.

13 Oct 2011
Planning Circular 5/2011: disposal of surplus government land
This supersedes circular 38/1992.

Our circular sets out the revised non-statutory arrangements known as the 'Crichel Down Rules', under which government land no longer needed should be offered back to former owners or their successors.

The circular is divided into the following sections:

  • introduction
  • the land and property to which the rules apply
  • the general rules
  • interests qualifying on offer-back
  • time horizon for obligation to offer-back
  • exceptions from the obligation to offer-back
  • procedures for disposal
  • terms of resale
  • resource implications for local authorities
  • annex 1
  • appendix

More information

Circulars contain our policies on the implementation of legislation and procedures.

Statements of our policy in circulars may be considerations to take into account in development plans and development management decisions.



Telephone: 0131 244 7528

Area 2-H (South)
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The Scottish Government
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