Land Reform Act Study Presentation [Tim Braunholtz Speight]


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Land Reform Act Study Presentation [Tim Braunholtz Speight]

  1. 1. Post-legislative Scrutiny of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 Calum Macleod1 , Tim Braunholtz-Speight2 , Issie Macphail2 , Derek Flyn, Sarah Allen3 and Davie Macleod3 1 Centre for Mountain Studies, Perth College UHI 2 UHI Centre for Remote and Rural Studies 3 Rural Analysis Associates UHI Research and Postgraduate Conference COMMUNITIES, COASTS AND MOUNTAINS Wednesday 27th – Friday 29th October 2010 Moray College UHI, Elgin
  2. 2. Context Land Reform (Scotland) Act passed in 2003 • Part One – outdoor access rights and responsibilities • Part Two – community right to buy • Part Three – crofting community right to buy Scottish Parliament Rural Affairs and Environment Committee • looking at “post-legislative scrutiny” of the Act • This report a first stage in that process
  3. 3. Methods • Expert interviews • Online surveys – Local Access Fora, National Access Forum, Local Authorities; – community groups with various experiences of the Act, and those who have purchased outwith • Semi-structured interviews – Similar range to surveys • Secondary data – e.g. Scottish Government data on Right to Buy registrations
  4. 4. Outdoor Access Largely working well…. • Perception that the legislation has gradually improved relations between access-takers and land managers. • Some concerns that Access Authorities reluctant to settle disputes through courts – financial risk a factor • Continued ‘hotspot’ issues – irresponsible camping etc. • But little appetite for changes in the legislation
  5. 5. Outdoor Access For example: “The LRSA has assisted in the resolution of local access disputes between access-takers and land managers” Local Access Forum members (N=80)
  6. 6. Part Two – Community Right to Buy Uptake
  7. 7. Community Right to Buy • Has been used, across Scotland – but most community land transfer outwith the Act • Majority of successful purchases involve public bodies • Feeling that cost and risk – time, expense and local landowner-community relations – outweighed uncertain benefits • Changes – iron out inconsistencies; simplify; treat as emergency tool and therefore ‘late’ registrations as ‘normal’.
  8. 8. Part Three – Crofting Community Right to Buy Very limited uptake • 2 applications to use it • 1 groups used it in negotiations but purchased land outwith the Act (Galson Estate Trust) • 1 group actively pursuing full use at present (Pairc Trust) – seen as a “test case” • Some other crofting community land purchases cite Act as helpful – but purchase outwith the Act seen as quicker and simpler
  9. 9. Crofting Community Right to Buy Barriers to uptake and suggestions for change • Complex and costly administrative requirements – esp mapping – more expensive than the land itself?? • Legal uncertainty – current case involving disputes over European Convention on Human Rights… • Simplification the major call for change • Fear among community groups that otherwise Part Three may become defunct as “unworkable”
  10. 10. Read more: Full report and Executive Summary available from: • Rural Affairs and Environment Committee tInquiries.htm • CRRS other-papers