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23/05/14 09:56

Land Reform Review Group

Making the most of our land.

The Land Reform Review Group have published their final report that aims to improve Scotland’s relationship with our land.

The independent Group was announced by the First Minister in 2012 and tasked with looking at Land Reform in Scotland with the remit to;

• Enable more people in rural and urban Scotland to have a stake in the ownership, governance, management and use of land, which will lead to a greater diversity of land ownership, and ownership types, in Scotland

• Assist with the acquisition and management of land (and also land assets) by communities, to make stronger, more resilient, and independent communities which have an even greater stake in their development

• Generate, support, promote, and deliver new relationships between land, people, economy and environment in Scotland

The wide ranging 260 page report also contains 62 recommendations with a focus on the public interest and making the most of land use in Scotland.

After receiving the report the Minister for Environment and Climate Change Paul Wheelhouse said:

“I would like to thank Dr Elliot and the Land Reform Review Group for their thorough report and their important contribution to the debate on land reform in Scotland. The relationship between the land and the people of Scotland is fundamental to the wellbeing, economic success, environmental sustainability and social justice within Scotland.

“This report contains 62 recommendations covering a wide range of areas that aim to improve our relationship with land. We will study the report in depth and consider its recommendations. I am sure it will contain recommendations we agree with and some we do not but I welcome the overall vision and proposed direction of travel.

“I am pleased to read the recommendations on improving the availability of land, both rural and urban, and the need to increase access to rural housing, these are issues that will have a direct impact on many people’s lives. The Group have also highlighted the need to address transparency of land ownership in Scotland which I believe is crucial to taking forward this agenda.

“I also welcome that the benefits of community ownership have been highlighted within the report. We have always said that community ownership empowers communities, sparks regeneration and drives renewal which is why we have an ambitious target to get one million acres of land into community ownership by 2020.

“I am pleased to announce that I agree with the Review Group’s recommendation for a working group to develop the strategy for achieving the million acre target and I will shortly be forming a working group to achieve just that.

“Land Reform not just about land ownership but how that land is used and managed and the benefits it can bring to the people of Scotland. I look forward to considering how the recommendations in this report can further benefit the people in Scotland through the relationship with our land.”

Notes to editors

The Report can be accessed via the Scottish Government website by selecting this link.

The First Minister announced the million acre target in June 2013 - http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2013/06/landreform07062013

The Land Reform Review was launched in July 2012 - http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2012/07/Land-Reform24072012

The Land Reform Review Group interim report was published in May 2013 - http://www.scotland.gov.uk/About/Review/land-reform/events/InterimReport

The Scottish Government recently completed a review on business rates. This Government is committed to maintaining the most competitive business tax environment anywhere in the UK through our business rates policies and we can confirm there are no plans to make changes to the position of agricultural business rates relief.