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02/10/2017

Scottish Land Commission prioritises vacant land

Words: Laura Edgar
Construction on vacant land / iStock-490458105

The Scottish Land Commission has published its priorities for the next three years, which include reducing the constraints on vacant land for housing.

The strategic plan, Making More of Scotland’s Land, focuses on four key areas, covering urban and rural land.

It says the commission wants to reduce constraints to redeveloping vacant and derelict land for housing and other uses and improve land supply for housing.

It also wishes to stimulate a more active approach to developing land in the public interest.

Key to this is examining the impacts of scale and concentration of land ownership and tax policy, and reviewing the effectiveness of community right-to-buy mechanisms.

Two other priorities will see the commission seek to improve the quality and accountability of decision-making and providing guidance where necessary, and increase access to land for those who want to farm.

Established under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016, the commission was launched on 1 April 2017.

Its chair, Andrew Thin, said the establishment of the commission has providing the country’s people with a mechanism to drive forward land reform.

“This ambitious strategic plan shows that we are committed to accelerating the process and tackling the most important matters.”

Thin said the commission aims to change and shape best practice for the ownership, management and use of Scotland’s land, “working with all sectors to achieve changes on the ground as well as recommending changes to legislation and policy where necessary”.

“Our goal is to improve the productivity, diversity and accountability of the way we use land, making more of Scotland’s land for Scotland’s people,” he concluded.

Making More of Scotland’s Land can be found on the Scottish Land Commission website (pdf).

Image credit | iStock


Hamish Trench, the chief executive of the Scottish Land Commission, has written about the strategic plan and land reform in Scotland in the new issue of The Planner, available now.

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