Com­mis­sion leases five crofts to new ten­ants

The Oban Times - - Farming -

THE Croft­ing Com­mis­sion has let five va­cant croft ten­an­cies to new en­trants who will use the land and en­sure it is not ne­glected.

The com­mis­sion ter­mi­nated four ten­an­cies in the Western Isles and one in Glen Tor­ri­don, as the ten­ants where not com­ply­ing with their duty to be res­i­dent and the land­lords failed to let the crofts within the nec­es­sary timescales.

The ten­an­cies were all ad­ver­tised lo­cally and in­ter­ested par­ties in­vited to sub­mit an ap­pli­ca­tion to the Croft­ing Com­mis­sion to be con­sid­ered for the ten­ancy.

The ap­pli­ca­tions were then sifted and scored, with all those suc­cess­ful go­ing for­ward to be cho­sen ‘blind’ by a com­mis­sioner.

New en­trant Den­nis McGon­nell said: ‘I was de­lighted to be se­lected as the new ten­ant for the croft 24 Gravir.

‘I have lived on Lewis for 12 years and was al­ways very ea­ger to get into croft­ing, es­pe­cially work­ing with an­i­mals.

‘My plans for the croft in­clude get­ting some pigs to deal with all the ferns and over­growth, be­fore re­seed­ing and then let­ting some rare sheep graze hap­pily once I’ve fenced the bound­ary.

I’m look­ing for­ward to get­ting started.’

The Croft­ing Com­mis­sion’s head of reg­u­la­tion, Joseph Kerr, said: ‘ We wish the new ten­ants every suc­cess in their ven­tures.

‘The process of let­ting a croft ten­ancy can be lengthy but we are de­lighted that five crofts are now in the hands of new en­trants, who will use the land and en­sure it does not get mis­used or ne­glected.

‘We have a fur­ther five crofts to let in the near fu­ture and are hav­ing on­go­ing dis­cus­sions with land­lords to take this for­ward.

‘ We are also cur­rently in ne­go­ti­a­tions with a num­ber of land­lords where crofts are va­cant or sub­ject to a longterm un­re­solved suc­ces­sion in or­der to seek so­lu­tions which would re­sult in the crofts be­ing oc­cu­pied and worked.’

Croft­ing Com­mis­sioner Iain MacIver con­grat­u­lates Den­nis McGon­nell on se­cur­ing his new ten­ancy.

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