The Crofting Commission today confirmed that it has withdrawn its appeal to the Court of Session in connection with the Scottish Land Court’s decision of 18 December 2014 in the case of MacGillivray v Crofting Commission.
Due to the fixed deadline for submitting an appeal, the Crofting Commission submitted a skeleton appeal to provide it with sufficient time to convene the full Commission and allow it to discuss the implications of the decision.
The Commission met last week to review the case and it was decided to withdraw the appeal and accept the ruling of the Land Court which establishes that a single owner, as the landlord of their part of the croft, are entitled to submit a regulatory decrofting application to the Commission.
The Crofting Commission had originally found Mr & Mrs MacGillivray’s application to decroft land at 37 North Ballachulish for house building to have been incompetent, therefore, the Commission could not take a decision on it. The recent Scottish Land Court ruling found the application to be competent. No decision has been made yet on the merits of the application which the Commission will now have to reconsider.
The case challenged the Commission’s policy which was adopted at its Board meeting on 14 December 2012. The policy found that all decrofting and letting applications in respect of crofts with multiple owners, must be submitted by all of the owners, in their capacity collectively as the ‘landlord’ of the croft.
The Land Court has ruled that in a multiple ownership situation one of the owners can apply independently from the other owners where the application solely relates to the land that they own.
Crofting Commission Convener, Susan Walker said “The ruling has implications on part croft owners in relation to the requirement to register the croft prior to submitting certain regulatory applications. The Commission is working to align our policy to the ruling and will begin to process applications relating to part crofts from single owners.”