A consultation has been launched by the Scottish Government into make new laws around the energy efficiency of our homes and buildings and the way we heat those buildings.

The Scottish Islands Survey 2023, being run by The James Hutton Institute, is asking 20,000 people across Scotland’s inhabited islands for their views on topics from transport, housing, the economy and cost-of-living crisis to the environment, healthcare and education.

Draft regulations allowing local authorities to charge up to double the full rate of Council Tax on second homes have been laid before the Scottish Parliament.  

The Scottish Rural and Islands Parliament (SRIP) is an important opportunity for voice of rural and island communities to help reinforce the importance of local democracy and to help shape the emerging Rural Delivery Plan. The theme of this year’s SRIP was Village Halls and Community Spaces.

A new Rural and Islands Housing Action Plan will support the Scottish Government’s commitment to deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, with 10% in rural and island areas.

A team of researchers led by The James Hutton Institute (JHI) in Aberdeen is hunting for volunteers to help them investigate what helps or hinders rural life in Scotland.

JHI is research institute located in Aberdeen and Dundee which focuses on the sustainable management of land, crops and natural resources for supporting thriving communities.

A new development of more than 300 much needed affordable, energy efficient homes has been completed in Argyll and Bute.

Deputy First Minister Shona Robison met residents and viewed some of the newly completed homes at the Dunbeg estate near Oban, during her visit ahead of the Travelling Cabinet meeting in Inveraray.

National Islands Plan Review – consultation events

Scotland’s first ever National Islands Plan was published in 2019 and it is now being reviewed. This review may lead to the publication of a new National Islands Plan.

The Scottish Government wants to hear from island communities and relevant sectors and partners to ensure this process is as thorough and effective as possible, providing us with vital feedback from those most impacted by the National Islands Plan.

Scotland’s first ever National Islands Plan (NIP) was published in 2019 and it is now going through its first review.

Local authorities will be able to charge a premium of up to 100% on council tax for second homes under legislation aiming to increase the availability of housing.

If approved by Parliament, the secondary legislation would bring second homes into line with long-term empty homes, which can already be subject to a 100% premium on the full rate of council tax. Latest figures show that as at September 2022 there were 24,287 second homes in Scotland.