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Landowners' Statement On Tenant Farming Review

Following the publication today of the final report of the Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group, Scottish Land & Estates issued the following statement. 

Scottish Land & Estates chairman David Johnstone said: "We are pleased the Scottish Government has recognised the vital importance of tenant farming.

 "We believe the Scottish Government and the Review Group are trying to simplify the sector's legislation and this is to be applauded. 

"It was important for the sector that the Review Group rejects the clamour for an absolute right to buy that is so damaging to Scottish agriculture and we welcome the fact the group unequivocally ruled it out. 

"The proposals for compensation at waygo were something we recommended and we are supportive of the appointment of Scottish Tenant Farming Commissioner. 

"We do, however, deeply regret that the Scottish Government seems set on a course that could leave it open to very substantial compensation claims because of the damage to a landowner's property rights, through the conversion of secure tenancies and the substantive widening of succession rights.

 "The proposal to allow tenants with no successor to convert secure tenancies to limited duration tenancies of a minimum of 35 years effectively denies for a lifetime the landlord the opportunity to farm the land or to re-let.

 "We also believe the proposals to widen succession rights are now far too wide-ranging and raise the issue of infringement of the landowner's property rights. 

"During discussions with the Review Group we raised the damage to property rights and the potential for very substantial compensation claims and we hope to continue dialogue with the Scottish Government on these matters. 

"We recognise the Scottish Government is trying to create churn in the sector and this objective would be better realised if agricultural legislation changes were taken forward as a complete and separate package rather than as part of a Land Reform Bill."


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