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WEAll Scotland's response to the Land Reform Bill

Overlapping blue and purple speech bubbles against a white background

At WEAll Scotland, we welcome the recent introduction of the Land Reform Bill and the opportunity to review the Scottish Government’s proposals. This is another important stage in Scotland’s transition to a Wellbeing Economy.

We are pleased to see progress on a number of key areas within the Bill that could help to diversify land ownership in Scotland and, while we believe it could go much further, it is a welcome step in the right direction. 

The proposed introduction of a ‘transfer test’ has the potential to be transformational in making small parcels of land available in places where communities need them. This is especially helpful in rural communities where they may not have the capacity to buy a big estate when it goes on sale. 

We are pleased to see provisions in the Bill for the threshold size to be changed by regulation in the future. This provides a foundation that we can continue to strengthen and build on in the future. 

However, we believe that the Bill could go much further. It is disappointing to see that the proposed 1000 hectare threshold in the Bill does not allow for urban land or small, but significant, pieces of land. 

There is a missed opportunity in protecting and empowering local communities by strengthening the community-right-to-buy mechanisms in the Bill. 

Ambitious land reform is key to building a Wellbeing Economy in Scotland. Reforming the way land is owned, used, and managed is crucial to unlocking the potential of a Wellbeing Economy, enabling Scotland’s people and communities to thrive. 

We look forward to engaging with the Scottish Government and Parliament to ensure this legislation is as ambitious and robust as it needs to be to tackle the urgent challenges Scotland’s people and communities face, making Scottish land a key driver of a Wellbeing Economy.

Charis Scott, Campaigns and Communications Lead, Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland


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