Scottish Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement Review: report to Scottish Parliament

Statutory report to Scottish Parliament on review of Scottish Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement, September 2022.

Revised Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement - Principle 4

Analysis Summary

The majority of respondents were supportive of Principle 4, with a small number expressing concerns including the view that the Scottish Government should uphold the rights of landowners. Others were supportive of the overall position set out, but also wanted to see other themes covered, including explicit reference to the holders of land rights having both environmental and social responsibilities to their local communities.

Scottish Government Response

The Scottish Government welcomes that Principle 4 is still considered relevant by consultation respondents. A reference to wider public benefit has been added to address the theme emerging in consultation responses, especially in relation to the Vision and Principle 1, of the need to highlight wider benefits. This emphasises the important of good stewardship of land, including natural capital, in delivering wider benefits. These wider benefits are also highlighted in Principle 1, and new Principle 5.

Principle 4 includes a focus on the longer term impacts of decision making in relation to land, and the wider benefits. The revised Advisory Notes expand on the range of impacts to consider, including emphasising the role of the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement in relation to buildings and the urban environment, as well as in more rural environments. The continued reference to "holders of land rights" ensures that the principle continues to apply not just to landowners, but that tenants, managers of land, public authorities taking decisions about land, and those exercising any right to use land should do so in keeping with this principle. In relation to the concerns expressed, Principle 1 refers to the need to balance public and private interests, and new Principle 5 highlights the need to consider a full range of benefits, including social, environmental, economic and cultural.



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