SCOTTISH Land & Estates, which represents landowners across Scotland, welcomed the publication of new statistics which show a significant rise in the use of agricultural tenancy vehicles.
Commenting on the latest economic bulletin published by Bank of Scotland, Douglas McAdam, chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “The Bank of Scotland report provides encouraging information in relation to the use of LDTs and SLDTs. From 2005 to 2012 the use of LDTs more than tripled, from 99 to 321. The use of SLDTS almost doubled from 285 from 540.
“This underlines our view that confidence to let land was being rebuilt and it is a great pity this is being jeopardised by the revival of the debate on Absolute Right to Buy, which it is widely acknowledged in the industry as having shattered confidence in the first place. This bulletin confirms that any decisions regarding new measures being proposed should be based on hard evidence rather than rhetoric.
“In terms of the decline in the overall number of secure tenancies, which was reported by the Scottish Government earlier this year, it is important to bear in mind that many tenants bought their farms from a willing seller, some farms were taken back in hand and re-let on new vehicles or are being farmed under other arrangements.
“In terms of farm rents, Bank of Scotland has confirmed that the rises in average rents over recent years reflect higher agricultural incomes following a decade when rents remained static. The rises in rents were generally low given the lengthy period where there no increases. Large increases were the exception, not the rule. Also, rents are not connected to land values and remain good value.”