Two year review of the Community Right to Buy published
The Caledonia Centre for Social Development have published a briefing paper on land reform called The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 – Part 2 the community right to buy: a two year review.
The review looks at the operation of the community right to buy in its first two years (June 2004 – June 2006). The legislation gives communities the right to apply to register an interest in all land in Scotland outwith settlements of over 10,000. Once registered, the community will get the right to buy the land if it is ever put up for sale.
The review is written by Andy Wightman, Director of the Land Programme of the Caledonia Centre for Social Development, author of Who Owns Scotland and a leading authority on land ownership and land reform.
He says, ‘Our key findings are that few communities are using the legislation, the Act is far too complex and that Ministers and officials are taking decisions in an ad hoc and inconsistent fashion. If the Community Right to Buy is really going to empower communities and change the pattern of landownership then it needs to be radically simplified and the powers of Ministers and officials curtailed.’
In a Parliamentary Answer from earlier this year, Sarah Boyack stated that Ministers are committed to reviewing the 2003 Land Reform Act during 2007.
Wightman argues that, ‘It is important that this review is an independent review as any exercise carried out by the Scottish Executive’s own officials will inevitably fail to address critical questions about whether Ministers should be having anything to do with the administration of this Act.’
Download the report from the Rural Gateway document library here: http://www.ruralgateway.org.uk/cgi-bin/library.cgi?action=detail&id=1499&dir_publisher_varid=1
Link to Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 Part 2 Community Right to Buy website: http://www.landreformact.com/