A consultation on how best to manage Raasay’s sporting rights to maximise community benefits in future begins this week.
All islanders on the electoral register will receive a copy of the consultation by post to be asked for their views on three options:
- A long term let of up to 175 years granted to a local community group – either the Raasay Crofters’ Association or another community group (which could include the crofters)
- Putting the lease on the open market with the winning bidder being required to demonstrate community benefit
- Exercising the right to buy over the land (which would include rights over the lease)
Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:
“Based upon a constructive public meeting during my earlier visit to Raasay, I understand fully that the sporting rights on Raasay are very important to the islanders, which is why we have committed to consulting fully with the community before deciding how the sporting rights should be managed in future.
“This consultation will give all islanders the chance to have their say on the various options and I hope as many people as possible will take this opportunity to air their views so that we can assess and demonstrate community support for any option we pursue.
“We want to ensure that we put in place a system which meets Raasay’s needs and allows the community to reap the maximum economic and conservation benefits from the valuable sporting assets and this will inform our policy in respect of any similar scenarios which present to us elsewhere in Scotland in the future.”
The consultation runs until June 7, 2013.