Scottish Land & Estates, which represents landowners across Scotland, said today it has made a ‘substantial submission’ to the Land Reform Review Group, established by the Scottish Government, calling for greater use of the capability of landowners and estates to deliver key benefits to rural Scotland.
Luke Borwick, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said:
“We welcome the opportunity to contribute to what is an important part of the debate about the future of rural Scotland and any review of land management, ownership and tenure should focus on best use of land.
“Our members are actively involved in a wide range of business activities and are at the forefront of rural economic development, enterprise and entrepreneurship. We continue to strive for rural economic prosperity and are substantive employers. In many cases, private landowners deliver more affordable housing in very rural communities than local authorities and housing associations put together. Estates and landowners play an active and important role in the health and wellbeing of the rural communities of which they are a part.
“There will be a direct benefit to the rural economy and to rural communities if landowners and estates are recognised as valued partners as well as being instrumental to the delivery of key national and local government objectives. It is in the wider interest that they are regarded as enablers of social and environmental policy and deliverers of public goods.”
In its submission Scottish Land & Estates supports a variety of land ownership models, including private and community owners, many of whom are members.
Mr Borwick said: "We should all remember that there exists now in Scotland a diverse range of land ownership from government, local authorities and other public sector organisations to community bodies, conservation NGOs, institutions, private businesses and individuals. This is a healthy situation and not the barrier to rural development."
Scottish Land & Estates has made a range of constructive recommendations to the LRRG across many sectors relevant to rural businesses.
Mr Borwick continued:
“We are very keen to make suggestions that will benefit rural Scotland including measures to strengthen the relationship between landowners and the communities in which they live and work."