The Scottish Government is making headway ahead with its aim to improve the transparency of land ownership.
Ministers are seeking views on proposals for a register of controlling interests in land owners and tenants.
The consultation takes forward work in the Land Reform Act 2016 to ensure that communities, tenants and land owners know and understand more about who controls land owners and tenants of land in Scotland – including those from outside the UK.
The announcement follows the launch of the 2016/2017 Programme for Government earlier this week.
Views are being sought on:
• The definition of a ‘controlling interest’
• The scope of the regulations, the type of land they will apply to and the persons to whom the regulations will apply
• What information should be disclosed and where it should be held
• The duty to provide the information and the associated sanctions and enforcement arrangements for not doing so
• The process for challenging information that appears on the register
• Any exemptions from disclosure.
Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said:
“Improving transparency of land ownership in Scotland goes to the very heart of progressing land reform in Scotland. Today, we start to consult on proposals for a public register of controlling interests in land that will, when implemented, help to ensure that all the people of Scotland can benefit from one of our most vital assets.
“This consultation continues our work to implement the Land Reform Act and is the next step in taking forward these regulations and will help us deal with policy, practical and legal dimensions in this complex and technical area. We want the register to result in greater transparency in relation to the individuals who control landowners and tenants in Scotland, but we also want to ensure that the requirements that we develop are proportionate and not unduly onerous on those who transact with land in Scotland.
“We also want to ensure that our proposals can apply to parties from outside the United Kingdom in order to deliver the transparency about controlling interests in land owners and tenants that the Scottish Government, and indeed the whole of the Scottish Parliament, wants to see.
“This consultation will help us to shape the regulations we take forward and I encourage all interested parties to get involved to ensure that one of Scotland’s most important natural assets is sustainably owned, used and developed in the best possible way.”