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by Hamish Trench
27 August 2021
Associate Feature: Harnessing the potential of our land

Associate Feature: Harnessing the potential of our land

The ways we own and use land influence many parts of our everyday lives. These connections are clear in the big themes this Parliament will be dealing with – economic recovery and renewal, climate change, human rights, housing, and community wealth building are all on the agenda. Land must be part of our economic thinking as we address recovery, renewal and a just transition to net zero.

Our governance of land ownership and land use decision-making must adapt to manage the scale of transformation in land use needed to achieve net zero. The Scottish Land Commission is looking at what this means for the effects on land value, opportunities to retain benefits in local economies and communities, and what it means for new models of land ownership and governance.

New forms of value associated with natural capital bring an opportunity to deliver community and economic benefit in tandem with climate action, shaping a just transition. We are working to ensure that accountable and responsible approaches are at the heart of land ownership and use, implementing Scotland’s Land Rights and Responsibilities principles.

The ways we own and use land can help deliver a fair and productive economy. The way our land markets shape housing delivery and price are a key part to meeting Scotland’s housing ambitions. We have made recommendations proposing that the public sector plays a more active role in bringing land forward for development, sharing risk and reward in partnership with the private sector to deliver more homes to meet the needs of Scotland. We are also providing advice on ways land and property taxation can support economic recovery.

Our work is ensuring that the ways we own and use land provide opportunities for more people to benefit, reduce inequalities and strengthen community resilience.

Hamish Trench is chief executive of Scottish Land Commission

This article was sponsored by Scottish Land Commission

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