Land reform bill published
Land reform Bill includes creation of new land commission along with end to tax exemptions for shooting estates
The Scottish Government has published its new Land Reform Bill, including measures to end tax exemptions for sporting estates and create a new Scottish Land Commission.
The Bill also includes plans to create a land register, aiming to increase transparency over ownership.
Land reform has formed a key part of the SNP’s agenda over the last year, with minister Aileen McLeod arguing reform is a key part of tackling inequality. The Bill will give communities a legal right to buy land – both rural and urban – to further sustainable development.
It will also create a new Scottish Land Commission, which will be composed of five Land Commissioners as well as the Tenant Farming Commissioner.
The Bill also provides for a land “land rights and responsibilities” statement, written by ministers and reviewed every five years.
Land reform minister Aileen McLeod said: “We cannot underestimate the crucial part land reform will play in contributing to the future success of communities across Scotland.
“Through the Land Reform Bill we want to ensure that future generations have access to land required to promote business and economic growth and to provide access to good quality, affordable food, energy and housing.
“The introduction of the Bill is a significant step forward in ensuring our land is used in the public interest and to the benefit of the people of Scotland. It will also end the stop start nature of land reform in Scotland that has limited progress.
She added: “At the heart of these proposals is the principle of responsibility that comes with all land ownership, and while there are many exemplary landowners in Scotland, the message is clear, it is no longer acceptable to own land in Scotland and not take the public responsibilities that come with that ownership seriously.
“I know this Bill will be good for the people of Scotland, encourage greater public interest and participation in land and help our communities reach their potential.”
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