Levellers: Birnam: Addressing barriers to sustainable development and begin to diversify patterns of land ownership

Levellers | A wiki for collaboratively developing left-wing policy for rural Scotland.

first: the very rough notes taken by Simon Brooke during the session - then the flips chart notes from Robert, with mindmaps from Ruth

Those present

Discussion: issues

What is 'sustainable development'?

Role of the Crown Estate, particularly in relation so seabed

Maximum size of holdings

Compulsory sale vs compulsory purchase

Charities which own land but do not have community interest in their charitable purposes

Why should these issues go up to ministers, rather than be determined at community level?

What is public interest?

Right to property: rich trying to defend right to property. Legal requirement that Scottish legislation has to be compliant with EU Human Rights.

Under human rights legislation the state can confiscate property if it's in the public interest, provided there's legal process.

Everyone also has a right to housing.

Key Issues

Sustainable Development



Different types of owners

EU Constraints

Powers for Ministers - but who else?

Some councils/community councils are poor, but all other options are worse.

"An accountability system that works" - communities first, ministers last

Powers should relate to community interest, as well as or instead of sustainable development.

EU Constraints

end of Simon's notes and beginning of Robert's notes with Ruth's mindmaps

Questions and clarifications in context of Proposal 4: Sustainable development test for land governance

61; What is 'sustainable'? What involvement of Crown Estate? (seabed) 62: question of size holdings? 4 sq miles? / How to bring charitable organisations into promoting sustainabiilty? / Land for affordable housing / What are potential barriers? 63: Why to depend on ministers to make decisions? 64: mechanisms: compulsory sale, compulsory lease 65: (arbitrary) / Can't easily 'take land' / must comply with EU legislation /property rights are not absolute , e.g. there is a right to housing

questions answers

Main Discussion: Historical ownership shouldn't give future rights

What is public interest? Is it defined by what Parliament decides? Statement of Land rights is important for this reason

How can derelict land/buildings be dealt with? Community empowerment bill addresses this

Definitions and Details: SUSTAINABLE






Expertise needs to be developed

Starting with Scottish Gov.? Or starting with communities?


Regional access forums

Accountability decentralised

Take action if landowner acts against the public interest (community interest)

Community Companies

More freedom to trade

Promotes sustainable development


Community councils vs community companies

Some systems exists but not ??very??

Remove restrictions on community council trading?


Charitable law should be changed to enforce promotion of common good Evidence for sustainable development allow ministers to demand a 'land plan' from land owners

Any shortcomings can be addressed by mechanisms of land reform Landowners are responsible to communities

Bring land planning regulations from agricultural land to sporting estates

Include sea use (seabed?) in landreform framework. (transparency + marine spatial planning)

Concrete examples of owners acting for or against public interest should be included in submissions

democratic body

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