Responding to a report by Community Land Scotland on the benefits of community landownership, Sarah Jane Laing, Director of Policy and Parliamentary Affairs for Scottish Land & Estates, said:" Community ownership has been successful in a number of circumstances and should be encouraged where there is a willing seller, funds and resources available and a business plan that will take a landholding forward. A variety of ownership models exist in Scotland and the truth is that both private and community ownership can work well and often do so side by side. Equally, there are examples where both types of ownership can prove very challenging.
“There is plenty of evidence produced by respected independent organisations – and recognised by successive governments – that demonstrate the successes and benefits of private ownership. It is disappointing that this is not acknowledged by Community Land Scotland in the same way that private owners acknowledge the benefits delivered through community ownership.
“The report implies that the gains of private ownership only accrue to the private owner. This is not the case Scotland-wide as research has shown clearly that private estates deliver a wide range of benefits to local communities and we will be producing new research this week showing that the vast majority of expenditure by estates is in local areas and supports local jobs.”