Following issue of a letter to Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead earlier today (Wednesday) by NFUS referring to absolute right to buy (ARTB) Chairman of Scottish Land & Estates Luke Borwick commented:
“It was particularly disappointing to see NFUS in their briefing, note the issues of absolute right to buy and assignation for value on secure tenancies. ARTB has been roundly rejected by the landowners and tenants alike who want to see a vibrant tenanted sector. If we want to give new farmers a chance then the nettle of ARTB should be grasped and it should be removed from the dialogue – it is not helpful to continue to refer to it as part of the debate.
“It should be remembered that tenant farmers already have extensive rights to assign leases to family members. Assignation for Value will not help new entrants to farming either as it will not mean more land being available to them as what will happen in reality is leases will be assigned to existing farmers. These options will be to the severe detriment of Scottish farming rather than being solutions.
“NFUS recognises the need for flexibility and they also talk about the need for collaborative dialogue. We completely agree with that and the focus should be on creating solutions that will help farming, not devising legislation aimed at damaging rural businesses that are an integral part of the farming industry.”