Skip to content

Scottish Land Reform – the current Bill

by on 2015/09/12

The current Bill is rather complex, and although I gave evidence, I focused on just a few points, and I will try to upload the file for others to access. In my evidence I argued for a better range of policies to reduce land prices to make it easier for people to buy land, and for more control over who owns land that puts the onus on the buyer that they are suitable rather than the onus on Government or its agents to show why they are not!

Two key ways of reducing land prices are

  1. controlling ownership, as in Norway, by limiting purchase to qualified persons able to mane the land, and who undertake to live on it, and by excluding purchase by non-natural persons especially anonymous companies and trusts. The ownership must be transparent, and the onus must be on the purchaser to demonstrate this.
  2. introducing land value taxation to capture the gains in land prices that arise from public investments and other processes not the investment by particular landowners,

In addition, I felt that property development should be ‘returned to people’ as opposed to going through property developers, who capture the gains from grating of planning permission, and then contract with builders, where people have no control ofver the design, layout and aspects, and the price they pay is high. Local authorities need to be empowered to buy land needed for housing etc, and to lot it to individual buyers at low cost, not the developers. This would also reduce land costs for housing, and hence housing costs.

The evidence will be in the public domain through the Scottish Government site.


Today, there was a good programme on BBC Radio  Scotland – a special issue of Out of Doors from 0630-0800, now available online at special programme of Out of Doors today programmes/b0694qjl

Yours truly is also on this programme talking about how the land system works in Norway.


From → Rural policy

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s