Making land ownership more transparent

Today I’m pleased to have announced that the Scottish Government is taking a major step forward in improving transparency of land ownership in Scotland.

It is right that there is a great deal of interest in who owns Scotland. The vibrant debate that the Land Reform Bill has generated is a reflection of its purpose – to encourage greater public interest and participation in our land. Our party had an excellent debate on land ownership at our National Conference last year. As Land Reform Minister I am proud of the measures already included in the Bill, but I also share the view of many members that we should do all that we can to increase transparency of land ownership.

A hallmark of the SNP Scottish Government is that we want to be open, accessible and listen. It is in the spirit of this approach that I intend to amend the Land Reform Bill, reflecting the many views that have been expressed in favour of greater transparency around who controls land in Scotland. To this end the Scottish Government will make amendments to the Bill so that it delivers a public register which details who controls land in Scotland. We know that it is not just ownership which matters but who is behind that ownership.

We remain committed to radical land reform in Scotland. This amendment further strengthens the Bill so that it delivers a system of land rights that promotes fairness, social justice, environmental sustainability, and economic prosperity for all of Scotland’s communities.