Land Reform Bill - Delayed, but still coming

The Scottish Government published the consultation paper “Land Reform in a Net Zero Nation” in July 2022. This sets out proposed land reform measures to “large-scale landholdings” for inclusion in the Land Reform Bill, such as:

  • Compliance with the land rights and responsibilities statement (also known as the “LRSS”).
  • A requirement to publish a land management plan.
  • Ensuring that the public interest is considered on transfer.

The consultation also included a number of proposals relating to agricultural holdings, small landholdings and a new land use tenancy. An analysis of the responses was published in June 2023 and is available here.

The Land Reform Bill was due to be published by the end of 2023 but has been delayed. In particular, it remains to be seen whether the 3,000 hectares threshold (being one of the tests for identifying a “large-scale landholding”) will apply. The Land Reform Bill is now expected to be published by the end of the current programme for Scottish Government i.e. by the end of June 2024.