Land Reform in a Net Zero Nation: Analysis of responses to the consultation exercise

Land Reform in a Net Zero Nation: Analysis of responses to the consultation exercise

Low sun over field of arable land
Susan Thomson

The findings from an analysis of responses to a public consultation on "Land Reform in a Net Zero Nation" have been published. The Scottish Government’s public consultation, Land Reform in a Net Zero Nation, was open from 4 July until 30 October 2022. It received 537 responses, 162 from groups or organisations and 375 from individual members of the public.

Commenting on analysis of responses to the Scottish Government’s consultation: Land Reform in a Net Zero Nation, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands Mairi Gouegon said:

“We already have a strong record of progressive and innovative land reform in our country – and indeed there are many innovative landowners across the country who are rising to the changing social, environmental and economic issues we face as a society.

“However, we can go further. In government we must do more to strengthen the contribution that large scale land holdings make to the public interest, improve transparency of land ownership and empower local communities.

“The respondents to this consultation agree with that view, and a majority agree with many of our ambitious proposals for land reform - including the introduction of a public interest test for transfers of large-scale landholdings.

“This legislation will build on the firm foundations that we already have – following good practice, and taking land rights and responsibilities seriously.  It will ensure that the good stewardship and leadership in land ownership already demonstrated by many - such as working with communities, increasing rural housing provision and addressing the climate and nature emergencies - becomes universal.

“I want to thank all the individuals and organisations who took the time to share their views and valuable insights. This is not the end of the discussion – I want to speak directly to stakeholders to hear their feedback and understand any concerns they might have.

“It’s important that we get this right, so as we prepare the Bill for introduction to Parliament, we will continue to work closely with our partners and engage with communities in rural and island areas, to ensure that we take a tailored and proportionate approach.”

More information here