The Consent Process/Timescales
Stage 1: A compliant application is received by Scottish Ministers. This includes ballot results, if these have not already been notified to Scottish Ministers, maps or drawings and any other supporting documents.
Stage 2: Community body also send copies of the full application to the owner of the land and, where the application is in respect of a tenant's interest, the tenant, as well as any third party purchaser, and/or heritable creditors. Scottish Ministers send notification of the application to the owner of the land, where the application is to buy a tenant's interest, the tenant, if a third party purchaser is nominated, the third party purchaser and any creditors. These parties will be invited along with the adjacent landowners (plus any other party as determined by Scottish Ministers) to provide views on the application. Once the application appears on the Register of Applications by Community Bodies to Buy Land, a prohibition on any transfer of the land, or any action being taken with a view to transfer of the land or, where the application is in respect of a tenant's interest, on any assignation of the tenant's interest, or any action being taken with a view to assign the tenant's interest, begins. Scottish Ministers will also publicise the application on the Scottish Government website and invite anyone with an interest to send in their views.
Stage 3: All parties invited to give their views have 60 days from the date of the invitation to provide views on the application (if they wish).
Stage 4: If views are received, these will be forwarded to the community body who will have 60 days to provide any comments.
Stage 5: The community body and all parties invited to give their views will be notified of the Scottish Ministers' decision. Scottish Ministers cannot make a decision on the case before a further 60 days have passed, from the last day of the previous 60 day period (total number of days from receipt of application = 180).
Stage 6: If consent to proceed is given, the valuation of the land is undertaken by an independent valuer appointed by Scottish Ministers within seven days of granting of consent. A valuation can be appealed to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland within 21 days of receiving the notice of the valuation.
Stage 7: The community body, landowner, where the application is to buy a tenant's interest, the tenant, or member of the community can appeal the Scottish Ministers' decision by lodging an appeal with the Sheriff Court, within 28 days of the date of the decision.
Stage 8: If consent is given, the community body will have 6 months from the decision date to complete the transfer, or later, by agreement or where the assessment of the valuation has not been completed within 4 months of the consent date, or where the valuation or determination is subject to an appeal which has not been decided within 4 months of the consent date. In these, completion is to take place not later than 2 months after the assessment or determination is completed or there is a decision on an appeal. If consent is not given, Scottish Ministers will remove the prohibition placed on the land, on the day detailed in the Right to Buy Land to Further Sustainable Development (Eligible Land, Specified Types of Area and Restrictions on Transfers, Assignations and Dealing) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 which is determined by factors detailed in those Regulations.
To be aware:
Any failure by Scottish Ministers to comply with the timescales within which they must make their decision does not affect the validity of their decision.
A community body which has bought under Part 5 must notify Scottish Ministers of any changes to their governing documents.
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