News In Focus
Land reform engagement guidance goes out to views
Planned new guidance on engagement by landowners and managers when making decisions that impact on local communities was issued for consultation by the Scottish Government today.
Issued in line with ministers' duties under part 4 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016, the draft guidance contains best practice in effective engagement with local people and groups.
The aim of the guidance is to support good working practices that can lead to mutually beneficial solutions to land-related problems and better local outcomes for economic, environmental, social or cultural issues. The guidance does not specify a particular method of consultation, although it includes links to some engagement tools that may be useful.
The extent to which regard has been had to the guidance will be one consideration when ministers are presented with community applications to buy land to further sustainable development under part 5 of the Act, which it is planned to bring into force in 2018.
Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham commented: “Decisions on ownership, management and use of land and buildings can have wide reaching effects for communities.
“Collaboration is a principle at the very heart of the Scottish Government’s approach to land reform. While many landowners and managers are already working with communities for their mutual benefit, the guidance seeks to encourage further co-operation.
“The draft guidance promotes fairness about decision making, helping ensure positive engagement is the norm – with communities informed and involved in the decisions that have the greatest impact on their lives."
She added: “We have worked hard with partners across the private, community, third and public sectors to produce this consultation and I invite all who have a view on engaging communities in decisions about land to respond and contribute to the development of this guidance.”
Click here to access the consultation. The deadline for responses is 16 June 2017.