There is provision in the Church of Scotland (Property and Endowments) (Amendment)
Act 1933 requiring the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland to offer
to adjoining owners an opportunity to purchase ground originally transferred
for the erection of a church or manse whenever they plan to sell that ground.
It applies only to ground provided for certain churches and manses listed in
Schedule 10 of the Church of Scotland (Property and Endowments) Act 1925 (extended
by the 1933 Act). Only adjoining owners whose predecessor in title originally
granted the ground in question without charge are to be offered this opportunity
to purchase.

A procedure has been provided for the way in which such an offer may be made,
by way of notice of opportunity of offer to which a response
must be given, with provision for a reference to arbitration
if terms and the price cannot be agreed within three months of the response
date. Such a reference must be made within one year of the response date. The
procedure is put in motion by the General Trustees issuing to eligible adjoining
owners, (there may be more than one), a draft statement of their terms of sale
and an upset price based on their estimate of open market value. The terms
and price can be amended by agreement among the General Trustees and all of
the eligible adjoining owners. If agreement cannot be reached the General Trustees
or any adjoining owner can refer the terms or the price to arbitration.

After agreed terms and price are reached whether by agreement or after arbitration,
the land is to be offered to the eligible adjoining owners on terms which are
in accordance with such agreement or the outcome of the arbitration process,
and the General Trustees have to accept the higher or highest offer that is
at least equal to or above the upset price.

The Order which sets out the procedure for this arrangement is available
from the HMSO website at: 20040538.htm

Back to Search