From 15 April 2016 communities will have the right to apply to register a notice to buy any land connected to their community in Scotland. Prior to that date, the right applied only to predominantly rural land and many rural communities have successfully registered an interest in a variety of types of property including fields, forests, reservoirs, public houses, churches, woodlands, community centres and schools. 

The right to buy is a pre-emptive right. In other words it can only be exercised if the landowner takes steps to sell the property. Eligibility to register, and the procedural steps to be followed, including valuation of the land in question are similar to the existing arrangements that have been available for rural land since 2004 under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. The proposed acquisition must be for furthering the achievement of sustainable development, and in the public interest, and Scottish Ministers’ consent to the application to register an interest is necessary.

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