The Right to Buy Land to Further Sustainable Development: information for communities

A guide for communities explaining Part 5 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 in respect of The Right to Buy Land To Further Sustainable Development.

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What Is The Right To Buy Land To Further Sustainable Development?

  • The Right to Buy Land to Further Sustainable Development is a process under Part 5 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 which allows community bodies throughout Scotland to apply for a right to purchase land and, in certain circumstances, an associated tenant's interest. If consent to an application is granted, the land can be purchased compulsorily.
  • Community bodies can apply for consent to acquire the right to purchase any land. Land can include bridges and other structures built on or over land, inland waters, canals and the foreshore.
  • Scottish Ministers must be satisfied that the land is eligible. There are a number of types of land which are ineligible for example, land on which there is a home (unless occupied under a tenancy) as well as the land that forms the curtilage of the home.
  • Where Scottish Ministers consent to an application, the sale is compulsory and does not require a willing seller.
  • The right to buy should be used where the community has proposals for that land that could further the achievement of sustainable development, and would result in a significant benefit to that community.

To be aware:

This right to buy is aimed at giving communities a process by which they can further the sustainable development in relation to land and, in doing so, also deliver significant benefit to the community. There are other rights to buy that can give groups the opportunity to purchase land. If your group is not sure which right to buy is right for them, please contact the Scottish Government Community Land Team for guidance.

All options should be considered by a community prior to submitting an application under the right to buy (for example, working in partnership with the landowner or tenant, agreeing a lease). The right to buy requires that the community body has already written to the owner, requesting a transfer of the land or where the application is in respect of a tenant's interest, the tenant requesting the assignation of the tenant's interest. This must have been at least six months prior to submitting an application, and it must have been done as a compliant Part 5 body.

Please note that if there are multiple titles, even if each is owned by the same person (or commonly or jointly owned by the same people), the community body must submit an application for each individual title. The same applies to tenancies.



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