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Community empowerment and land reform in Scotland

Land reform and community empowerment: Scotland

Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015

In 2015, the Scottish Parliament passed the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act. This provides a range of new powers for communities to get involved in the ownership of land and other assets, in decision-making, and in securing better outcomes through public services. These powers include community right to buy, asset transfer requests and participation requests.

Among the provisions of the Act:

Part 2: Places Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) on a statutory footing and imposes duties on them, and statutory community planning partners around the planning and delivery of local outcomes, and the involvement of community bodies at all stages of community planning.

Part 4: Introduces a new provision for community bodies to purchase land which is abandoned, neglected or causing harm to the environmental wellbeing of the community, where the owner is not willing to sell that land.  This is if the purchase is in the public interest and compatible with the achievement of sustainable development of the land.

Part 5: Provides community bodies with a right to request to purchase, lease, manage or use land and buildings belonging to local authorities, Scottish public bodies or Scottish Ministers. 

Please refer to the  Scottish Government for further information.

Scottish Government: Community Empowerment and Engagement


NatureScot has a web page that describes the main points of the act in more detail.

NatureScot: Community Empowerment Act


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