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 6

Analysis Summary

A substantial majority of respondents saw this principle as still relevant to current Scottish land issues. A number of comments addressed the issue of transparency, with comments including that the objective should be to achieve transparency rather than to improve it. It was also suggested that the Government should be clear about the purpose and scope of any transparency measures.

Other comments included that efforts should be made to codify and bring together the different forms of land and property information that are already public. Support was expressed for the benefits of Land Management Plans to both the land manager and the local community. Concern was expressed over loopholes and the masking of transaction prices in the Land Register of Scotland. It was noted that land registration can be a large and costly task and suggested that the SLC's Good Practice Programme casework service could support landowners with this as part of its responsible landownership messaging.

Scottish Government Response

The Scottish Government notes the high levels of support for this principle (formerly Principle 5, now renumbered Principle 6 following the creation of new Principle 5) in the consultation responses. Since the first Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement was published in 2017 the Scottish Government has continued to focus on the importance of transparency of ownership, management and use of land. The Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land launched on 1 April this year, which aims to increase transparency further. The UK-wide Register of Overseas Entities launched on 1 August to further aid transparency of overseas bodies which own land in Scotland, and Registers of Scotland continue to work on the completion of the Land Register. All will contribute to increased transparency in future years.

Principle 6 has been amended slightly, to reflect that there have been many recent developments to improve transparency about the ownership, management and use of land.



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