Since the issue regarding decrofting by owner occupier crofters was first highlighted in late February, and following criticism of the Commission’s decision and the legal opinion that prompted their action to halt decrofting applications from owner-occupier crofters, the Commission has been working to explore whether there is any other possible interpretation of the legislation. Having sought further legal advice, the Commission Board reaffirmed that, as the law currently stands, there is no provision that allows owner occupier crofters to decroft.
The Commission has stated that it will continue to work urgently with the Scottish Government to find a long term solution. In the meantime the Commission confirm that landlords of vacant crofts and tenants are still able to decroft. Owner occupier crofters finding themselves compromised by recent legal clarity are advised to seek independent legal advice as to possible remedies. The Commission has expressed a willingness to prioritise any urgent cases or where individuals are suffering hardship resulting from the situation.
The Crofting Commission announcements can be found here: http://www.crofting.scotland.gov.uk/news.asp