A mini-blog, to acknowledge a new development in the world of Scots land law reform, namely today’s announcement of “New powers for Scotland’s communities” which announcement coincides with the launch of a new consultation on community empowerment.
To re-hash the Scottish Government’s materials, the following is foreshadowed for a new Bill:
• a new way for communities to take on public sector land and buildings
• opportunities for communities to be more involved in shaping and delivering better outcomes locally
• greater transparency in the management and disposal of the Common Good
• improved powers for local authorities to recover the costs of dealing with dangerous and defective buildings
• measures to streamline and extend the rural community right to buy
• new duties to strengthen Community Planning, so that public sector agencies work as one to deliver better outcomes for communities
• updated and simplified legislation on allotments
• new powers for local authorities to create local business rate relief schemes.
Also of interest is the consultation document’s points on the community right to buy (under Part 2 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003). From the terms of the consultation document (and the responses to an earlier exploratory consultation), this seems ripe for extension to urban areas. It is also apparent that the Scottish Government is minded to streamline and simplify the bureaucratic provisions of the right to buy, with this latter goal being difficult to object to irrespective of your perspective on the Scottish land question.
The consultation is open until 24 January 2014.