Community land buyouts

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 introduced rights for both communities and crofting communities to proceed with land purchase under certain circumstances.

In terms of Section 33 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003,  the land in which a community interest may be registered is any land other than excluded land. Read the definition of excluded land.

The community is taken as having given their approval for the purposes of Section 51 if Ministers are satisfied that either:

  1. At least half of the members of the community have voted in a ballot conducted by the community body on the question whether the community body should buy the land 
  2. Where less than half of the members of the community have so voted, the proportion which did vote is, in the circumstances, sufficient to justify the community body’s proceeding to by the land 

In addition, the majority of those voting have voted in favour of the proposition that that community body buy the land.

We will, in most circumstances, organise the ballot on behalf of the community company.

National Forest Land Scheme

This scheme gives community organisations, recognised non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and or appropriate housing bodies the opportunity to buy or lease national forest land where they can provide increased public benefits.

The criteria set out specific thresholds based on the market value of the land. Ballots are required to demonstrate community support for all applications with a value greater than £50,000. At this threshold business plans are also required to demonstrate capacity to manage the land. The ballot follows the same rules for community land buyouts.

Both ballots are conducted by post, under The First Past The Post System. 

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