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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

New land reform might have ‘vital implications’ for Scottish farming

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The Scottish authorities’s new Land Reform Invoice might have ‘vital implications’ for agriculture within the nation, trade leaders have warned.

The not too long ago launched invoice goals to switch land possession in Scotland by regulating some land gross sales.

It requires landowners with greater than 3,000 hectares to supply land administration plans.

The invoice additionally supplies new neighborhood empowerment provisions and modernises agricultural tenancies.

However NFU Scotland stated the deal with land ought to be “round how it’s used moderately than bodily possession”.

A brand new Land and Communities Commissioner will probably be created, who will advise on land gross sales the place possession is greater than 1,000 hectares.

The Scottish authorities will then be capable of make a path breaking apart the landholding into smaller parcels.

While NFU Scotland acknowledged the need to share the advantages of land possession, it expressed concern on how the laws can be delivered.

Gemma Cooper, head of coverage on the union, stated she had “vital concern” for the invoice’s affect on rural Scotland’s profitability and prosperity.

“The messaging from Scottish authorities has been that accountable landowners don’t have anything to worry from land reform, however these proposals appear counter intuitive.

“We imagine that proposals round land market regulation have the potential to severely compromise farming. Economies of scale have meant that farms have needed to get larger to outlive.”

She stated the invoice instructed that “massive is unhealthy”. “It doesn’t contemplate the the reason why many household farms should function at scale to outlive or recognise the advantages that scale can ship within the present local weather and nature emergency.

“We should be sure that farmers and crofters believe to ship on meals, local weather and biodiversity in addition to delivering for rural communities.

Issues have additionally been raised that the invoice provides the Scottish Land Fee extra powers by offering one other new Commissioner who will advise ministers on land market regulation.

“This sends totally the improper message to landowners as a result of it strikes the Fee from an advisory to a regulatory function,” Ms Cooper stated.

Scottish Land & Estates (SLE), a bunch representing rural companies in Scotland, warned the invoice might “fail rural Scotland for generations”.

Sarah-Jane Laing, chief government of SLE stated: “The Scottish authorities is utilizing outdated ideology to punish these rural companies making an enormous contribution to Scotland.

“Quite than taking a common sense method to mirror the challenges that folks dwelling and dealing in rural Scotland face, Scottish Ministers are pursuing a harmful and disproportionate agenda towards land-based companies.

“A number of the measures sign an enormous U-turn by Ministers from utilising land to pursue web zero in direction of a full-on assault on the property rights of enormous farms and estates.

“Ministers wouldn’t countenance taking the identical method to some other enterprise sector.”

When the laws was introduced earlier this yr, then-Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon stated it will permit the advantages and alternatives of Scotland’s land to be extra broadly shared.

“We don’t suppose it’s proper that possession and management of a lot of Scotland’s land continues to be within the fingers of comparatively few folks,” she stated.

“We need to be a nation the place rights and duties in relation to land and its pure capital are totally recognised and fulfilled.

“Too typically, folks and communities really feel powerless when the land they reside on is bought with no prior warning – this Invoice will assist to alter that.”


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