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A Consultation on the Future of Land Reform in Scotland


Chapter 2: A Draft Land Rights and Responsibilities Policy Statement

Land Rights in a 21st Century Scotland

33. The relationship between the people living in Scotland and the land of Scotland is of fundamental importance. The land of Scotland is a finite resource and the land rights that govern how the land is owned and used have a crucial influence on the wellbeing, economic success, environmental sustainability and social justice of the country. This statement proposes a vision and set of principles to guide the development of public policy on the nature and character of land rights in Scotland.


For a strong relationship between the people of Scotland and the land of Scotland, where ownership and use of the land delivers greater public benefits through a democratically accountable and transparent system of land rights that promotes fairness and social justice, environmental sustainability and economic prosperity.


  1. The ownership and use of land in Scotland should be in the public interest and contribute to the collective benefit of the people of Scotland.
  2. There should be clear and detailed information that is publicly available on land in Scotland.
  3. The framework of land rights and associated public policies governing the ownership and use of land, should contribute to building a fairer society in Scotland and promoting environmental sustainability, economic prosperity and social justice.
  4. The ownership of land in Scotland should reflect a mix of different types of public and private ownership in an increasingly diverse and widely dispersed pattern, which properly reflects national and local aspirations and needs.
  5. That a growing number of local communities in Scotland should be given the opportunity to own buildings and land which contribute to their community's wellbeing and future development.
  6. The holders of land rights in Scotland should exercise these rights in ways that recognise their responsibilities to meet high standards of land ownership and use.
  7. There should be wide public engagement in decisions relating to the development and implementation of land rights in Scotland, to ensure that wider public interest is protected.

The Scottish Government will take into account in all its policies the vision and principles set out in this document.

34. The Land Reform Review Group's report stated that land reform is a process. The Scottish Government is committed to a forward looking programme of land reform. We believe that the draft Land Rights and Responsibilities Policy will guide future land reform in Scotland.

35. Once you have considered the draft policy, set out above, and the proposals for reform throughout this document we would welcome your views as to what the long term actions and priorities should be for the Scottish Government.

Q 1. Do you agree that the Scottish Government should have a stated Land Rights and Responsibilities Policy?

Q 2. Do you have any comments on the draft Land Rights and Responsibilities Policy?

Q 3. Considering your long term aspirations for land reform in Scotland, what are the top three actions that you think the Scottish Government should take?