Plan for public register of land ownership to improve transparency

Aileen McLeod
Aileen McLeod

The Scottish Government is to amend the Land Reform Bill to establish a public register of who owns land in Scotland.

Land reform campaigners have long called for a public register in a bid to increase transparency.

Yesterday land reform minister Aileen McLeod confirmed she plans to amend the bill at stage three to give the Scottish Government the power to make regulations to create the register.

Dr McLeod said: “There is rightly a great deal of interest in who owns Scotland. I have listened very carefully to the many views expressed, including by the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee, in favour of greater transparency on who controls land in Scotland. This is something I believe can benefit our country, particularly communities who wish to have more of a say over how land in their area is used and managed.

“That is why I am pleased to confirm that the government plans to create a public register of who controls land in Scotland and to enable this we will amend the Land Reform Bill at stage three to give the powers required to create a public register which will contain the information needed to give greater transparency about who controls our land.

“More work is required on complex legal issues, such as what information should be disclosed and how to protect the privacy of individuals. So I will put in place the necessary powers to allow further work to be done and ensure that this Bill delivers a framework that gives, subject to parliamentary scrutiny, detailed information about who controls land in Scotland.”

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