Land Reform (Scotland) Bill (6) – Stage 1 response

I have submitted my response to the call for evidence on the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill. You can do so to on the Committee’s webpage here. The Committee invites you to submit your response via the Parliament’s online form but if you want to submit a more conventional written response, contact the Committee Clerk as I did.

You can download my response here.

There is also a link in the dedicated page (see Land Reform 2024 menu at top of blog) where I have included all relevant documents associated with the Bill. In particular, you might find useful my initial blog of 27 March and the Scottish Community Alliance briefing.

My response can be summarised as follows.

  • This Bill does not deliver on the recommendations of the Scottish Land Commission, nor what was consulted on by the Scottish Government and nor does it deliver the aims of the Bill as set out in the Policy Memorandum.
  • The proposals in Part 1 will have little or no impact on the pattern of landownership in Scotland. You can read my analysis of this in previous blogs here, here and here.
  • The Bill represents another example of a tactical intervention in the status quo rather than the fundamental structural reform needed to land tenure, land ownership and the land market.
  • If this legislation is passed by Parliament, it will have little impact beyond creating new complexities, friction and conflict in the land market for no evident gain.
  • The proposals on compulsory management plans and community engagement together with modest modernisation of agricultural tenancies are the only useful parts of the Bill.
  • I recommend that the Committee consider excluding Sections 2 to 6 of the Bill from any recommendation to Parliament to approve the general principles of the Bill.

The Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee is seeking views to be submitted by 2359hrs on Tuesday 21 May 2024.

The Finance and Public Administration Committee has also launched a Call for Views on the Financial Memorandum. Evidence should be submitted by 21 June.