Regis­ter of land con­trol ‘might have loop­holes’

Com­mit­tee finds ar­eas of con­cern

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - FARMING | WEATHER - BY NANCY NICOLSON

A Scot­tish Par­lia­ment com­mit­tee has called on the govern­ment to look again at its plans for a na­tional regis­ter of peo­ple who have con­trol over land.

The pro­posed Regis­ter of Con­trolled In­ter­ests in Land, the pur­pose of which is to make land own­er­ship more trans­par­ent, is the sub­ject of a re­port by the par­lia­ment’s En­vi­ron­ment, Cli­mate Change and Land Re­form Com­mit­tee. A re­port by the com­mit­tee points out that there could be gaps or loop­holes in the new regis­ter as they state that the pro­pos­als cur­rently rely on mul­ti­ple reg­is­ters and ex­clude in­for­ma­tion that is in the pub­lic do­main.

The com­mit­tee says that the in­for­ma­tion should be ac­ces­si­ble in a sim­ple and straight­for­ward way and able to be ac­cessed via a sin­gle point and free to use.

Com­mit­tee con­vener, Gil­lian Martin MSP said: “The com­mit­tee was very clear in its con­clu­sions.

“There should be trans­parency over who owns Scot­land’s land, who takes de­ci­sions over its man­age­ment and who ben­e­fits from its own­er­ship.

“How­ever, in look­ing at the pro­posed regis­ter there are a num­ber of ar­eas of con­cern.

“We need to en­sure the in­for­ma­tion on those who have con­trol over land is trans­par­ent, easy to use and the in­for­ma­tion is avail­able in one place.

“We are there­fore call­ing on the Scot­tish Govern­ment to ad­dress th­ese is­sues when they fi­nalise the de­tail of their pro­pos­als.”

The Land Re­form Act 2016 gave the Scot­tish Govern­ment power to leg­is­late to cre­ate a regis­ter and the draft reg­u­la­tions that the com­mit­tee is con­sid­er­ing pro­vide the de­tail on how that will hap­pen.

RE­PORT: Gil­lian Martin MSP said the in­for­ma­tion must be trans­par­ent, easy to use and avail­able in one place

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