Community Land Scotland Newsletter July 2016
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In May, Community Land Scotland and Scottish Land and Estates launched their joint Protocol for Negotiated Sales. The Protocol is aimed at landowners or communities that want to use a negotiated process to buy and sell land and would prefer an alternative to going down the Community Right to Buy route. The Protocol has drawn from the experiences of many communities including those in Barvas, Findhorn, Scalpay, Carloway and Galson.

We're delighted to welcome Wanlockhead Community Trust, Colonsay Community Development Company, An Torc Ltd and East Lochaber and Laggan Community Trust into our membership.

If you would like to support our work and be part of the growing movement for community land ownership in Scotland, please have a look at how to become a Supporter.

With 2016 proving to be a critical year for land reform in Scotland, Community Land Scotland is organising an event "The Scottish Land Reform Conference 2016 - What Next for Land Reform?" to take stock of what's happened to date and discuss upcoming developments such as the Scottish Land Commission and the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement. Speakers will include the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP and  Mike Taylor of the International Land Coalition. The conference will be on the 23rd September at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. The programme and booking details will be available on our web site later this month.

Scottish Land Commission

The Scottish Government is working on the establishment of a permanent new body to oversee the development of new land reform legislation and policy.  The Scottish Land Commission will oversee the implementation of land reform legislation and regulations introduced to date and will ensure that land reform remains high on the Scottish Government's policy agenda. The Commission will be in place by April 2017.
Pairc Trust

Since December 2015, the Pairc Trust has owned the 28,000 acre Pairc Estate in South Lochs, Lewis. The land, which was bought for £500,000, includes 11 crofting townships and a number of lochs. The buyout followed a 12 year legal battle with the former owner, but, with the support of the local community and the resolve of the Trust Board, the buyout was eventually successful. The main aim of the Trust is to reverse population decline in the area by creating jobs and affordable housing. The Trust is currently carrying out a consultation with the community and a housing needs analysis to help them prioritise future developments.

Our newest member, East Lochaber and Laggan Community Trust  hopes to buy the 125,000 acres of land associated with the Rio Tinto Alcan smelter near Fort William. All last week, public meetings took place to build further community support for the buyout. The Trust is Chaired by John Hutchison, former Chair of the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust.  The largest community buyout of land to date was the purchase of a 93,000 acre estate covering most of South Uist, Eriskay and Benbecula by Storas Uibhist in 2006.

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You may have missed...

- Call to increase community ownership, Scottish Government

- Community Buyout suggested of 120,000 acres in Lochaber, BBC

- New crofts could be created in Assynt, BBC

- We should be bold and ambitious Andy Wightman, West Highland Free Press

Scottish Land Fund puts three enterprising communities in control, Big Lottery Scotland

2015 was the worst year for killiings of land and environmental defenders, Global Witness

Community Land Scotland Blog

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Community Land Scotland is a charity registered in Scotland SC041864, Company Number 385572