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Conservation burdens

1 September 03

The procedure for applying for conservation body status under the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003 has been announced

The Scottish Executive is currently considering applications for status as conservation bodies under the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003.  Sections 38 to 42 of the Act build on, and to some extent replace, the provisions contained in the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc (Scotland) Act 2000. The Acts provide for a conservation body, prescribed by Scottish Ministers, to be able to enforce a particular real burden affecting a certain piece of land. Both the burdens and the body will have to seek to protect, for the benefit of the public: the architectural or historical characteristics of the land (which includes buildings); or any other special characteristics of the land (including a special characteristic derived from the flora, fauna or general appearance of the land).

Although new conservation burdens may be created at any point in the future, existing feudal burdens may only be preserved before the appointed day on which the feudal system is finally abolished.  The Executive has already announced that this will be on 28 November 2004.

Conservation bodies will be designated in a list to be prescribed by Scottish Ministers in a statutory instrument. It is intended that the provisions of both Acts on conservation burdens and the list will come into effect in autumn 2003. The list will change over time, so it will be possible for new bodies to join the list and for others to be removed.

The Executive announced the procedure for interested parties to use in applying for conservation body status in its answer to Scottish Parliamentary Question no S2W-1100. A copy of the Executive’s letter of invitation can be found at:

For further details, interested parties should contact: Iain Hockenhull, Scottish Executive Justice Department, 2 West Rear, St Andrew’s House, Edinburgh EH1 3DG (phone 0131 244 8228; email