Response 121552293

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Land Rights in 21st Century Scotland

1. Do you agree that the Scottish Government should have a stated Land Rights and Responsibilities Policy?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

2. Do you have any comments on the draft Land Rights and Responsibilities Policy?

Enter comments here.
The part that appears to be missing is to look after the land - no only for those that use the land or for those that own the land. But to actually look after the land. Having done a bit of Munro bagging when you go to somewhere like Ben Lawers (http://www.nts.org.uk/Property/Ben-Lawers-National-Nature-Reserve/) where they have fenced off a very small portion of land, it is truly remarkable how diverse it can be if left alone from sheep and deer! Its something that anyone looking into land reform really needs to see for themselves. If only a small fraction (I dare say even if just 1-2%) of these large estates were fenced off from grazing animals it would make such a difference to tourism, wildlife, nature and the landscape. Any such fenced of areas should go up and down the hills so as to make the range of biodiversity as large as possible.

3. Considering your long term aspirations for land reform in Scotland, what are the top three actions that you think the Scottish Government should take?

Action One:
Those that own huge areas of land must set aside areas to return to a ungrazed state - such as the example I gave previously http://www.nts.org.uk/Property/Ben-Lawers-National-Nature-Reserve/
Action Two:
Any land owner must be based in Scotland or at least a way to make sure that any profits, taxes etc stay in Scotland. Preferably in the same area of the land.
Action Three:
The local community must have a bigger say in what happens around them.

A Scottish Land Reform Commission

4. Do you agree that a Scottish Land Reform Commission would help ensure Scotland continues to make progress on land reform and has the ability to respond to emergent issues?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

5. What do you think the advantages or disadvantages of having a Scottish Land Reform Commission would be?

Advantages:
Knowing who owns what and that its not being owned by some absent company intent on making profit and moving taxes etc offshore. Making areas more accesable

Limiting the legal entities that can own land in Scotland

7. Do you agree that restricting the type of legal entities that can, in future, take ownership or a long lease over land in Scotland would help improve the transparency and accountability of land ownership in Scotland?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

8. Do you agree that in future land should only be owned (or a long lease taken over land) by individuals or by a legal entity formed in accordance with the law of a Member State of the EU?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

9. What do you think the advantages or disadvantages of such a restriction would be?

Disadvantages:
If the land isn't managed then things like wild deer could pose a problem.

10. How should any restriction operate and be enforced, and what consequences might follow if the restriction is breached?

Enter comments here
If a land owner is in breach of the laws and they fail to amend there ways then their land would have to be sold on the open market to someone or organisation that was prepared to work within the rules. If they use various delaying tactics that are not foreseen then after set time limits then there should be penalties which go directly to community projects in the area.

Information on land, its value and ownership

11. Do you agree that better co-ordination of information on land, its value and ownership would lead to better decision making for both the private and public sectors?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

13. What do you think the advantages of disadvantages of wider and more flexible sharing of land information would be and do you have any recommendations about how this can best be achieved?

Advantages:
If you know the value of something then you can plan how much to invest (or not). You will know who to contact should you wish to purchase land and make it a more open market for locals to get an idea of what is required before planning work or purchases.
Disadvantages:
cost of maintaining such records and making them available

Sustainable development test for land governance

14. Do you agree that there should be powers given to Scottish Ministers or another public body to direct private landowners to take action to overcome barriers to sustainable development in an area?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

A more proactive role for public sector land management

17. Do you agree that public sector bodies, such as Forestry Commission Scotland, should be able to engage in a wider range of management activities in order to promote a more integrated range of social, economic and environmental outcomes?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

18. What do you think the benefits would be and do you have any recommendations about how this can best be achieved?

What do you think the benefits would be and do you have any recommendations about how this can best be achieved?
Forest walks, and tourism are key to Scotland. Linking walks with say local stores and cafes are very important. Also need to get back to more native plants such as the John Muir Trust are doing in various locations. The forestry commission need to communicate with these type of groups.

19. Do you have any concerns or alternative ways to achieve the same aim?

Do you have any concerns or alternative ways to achieve the same aim?
Get the NTS and John Muir Trust bodies and any other similar ones involved as thy do magnificent works for maintaining Scotland's outdoors.

Duty of community engagement on land management decisions to be placed on charitable trustees

20. Do you think a trustee of a charity should be required to engage with the local community before taking a decision on the management, use or transfer of land under the charity’s control?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

21. What do you think the advantages or disadvantages would be?

Advantages:
The community have to work in and around the land so they should always have a say.
Disadvantages:
Hard to get locals involved, especially if the locations are remote.

22. How should “community” be defined?

How should “community” be defined?
Those that stay in close proximity (not just a holiday house either), work in that area or who may be affected by its land.

Removal of the exemption to business rates for shooting and deerstalking

24. Should the current business rate exemptions for shootings and deer forests be ended?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

25. What do you think the advantages would be?

What do you think the advantages would be?
A fairer tax system where everyone is paying the same amounts stops any misgivings of bias.

26. What do you think the disadvantages would be?

What do you think the disadvantages would be?
Land areas are not able to make enough money to be sustainable.

Common Good

27. Do you agree that the need for court approval for disposals or changes of use of common good property, where this currently exists, should be removed?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No

Wild Deer

35. Do you agree that further deer management regulation measures should be introduced to be available in the event that the present arrangements are assessed as not protecting the public interest?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

36. What do you think the advantages would be?

What do you think the advantages would be?
There are too many deer and its not the way that nature had it before we killed of their predators. so unless we bring back wolves then more deer need to be shot. We need to balance Scotland's nature and if that means bringing back wolves as has happened in other countries then great.

37. What do you think the disadvantages would be?

What do you think the disadvantages would be?
More regulations are costly and potentially hard to implement.