Radical report puts communities, public financing and taxes front and centre of proposed land reform

COMMUNITIES should be provided more of a say in how land in Scotland is used and benefit from any increase in land values – concludes a radical report published today by the public body, the Scottish Land Commission.

And while the Commission recognises that it will likely take some time to steer the legislation to make any of that happen, the report also recommends the potentially quicker-to-implement imposing of stricter conditions attached to any public financing of land purchases. Plus a reform of land taxes.

The report – Natural Capital and Land Reform, Next Steps to a Just Transition (advice to Scottish Government ministers) – also considers how land use can support ambitions for Scotland to reach net zero carbon emissions.

Says the Commission, here, of its “comprehensive set of proposals”: they include “implementing stronger regulation, imposing greater conditionality on public funding, granting communities a more influential role in ownership and decision-making processes, and reinvesting a fair portion of the increasing land values back into supporting people across Scotland”.

Adds the announcement: “The Commission also highlights the need for strong leadership at the regional level to integrate land use planning and funding priorities effectively

“The Commission will also be publishing new guidance on responsible practice for investment, particularly on partnership approaches with communities.”

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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