A Common Weal response to the consultation on Mercedes Villalba MSP’s Members’ Bill proposing that a public interest test is applied if any individual wishes to own more than 500 hectares of Scottish land.Credits—
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Common Weal is proud to be one of Scotland’s lead campaigners on land reform and we continue to monitor and support positive developments in this and other areas of public policy. We are particularly keen to support proposals taken from across the breadth of the Scottish Parliament as they provide a voice for those outwith Government and help to foster the collegiate spirit on which the Scottish Parliament was reconvened.
These proposals in particular seek to change the way that Scotland buys, sells, transfers and holds land which up till now has been a matter purely for “the market” and which, by definition, locked out those who could not afford to buy land from any discussion about how it was used – even if they were the ones living on it.
Scotland’s pattern of concentrated land ownership is nearly unique in the developed world and goes far beyond the point of being harmful to the healthy development of communities. We therefore welcome these proposals subject to the details and caveats discussed in our response.