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Right to buy

Published: 12 Oct 2015 13:00

Impact evaluation of community right to buy report.

Community Right to Buy can make a real change to local communities according to more than half of respondents who took part in a report published by the Scottish Government today.

The report shows that over the last ten years, 206 community bodies have been established, 72 of which have successfully registered an interest in land under the Community Right to Buy.

Those surveyed identified a range of skills that had been improved in the community as a result of the Community Right to Buy process including legal knowledge, knowledge about the community and its aims, communications skills and organisational skills.

The report also showed that:

  • 57 per cent of respondents agreed that Community Right to Buy had stimulated ideas of how the community could use local land and buildings differently
  • 62 per cent of respondents agreed that Community Right to Buy had helped the community think more about the use of land and assets
  • 54 per cent of respondents agreed that the Community Right to Buy process helped understand the needs of the community

Speaking at Comrie Development Trust, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Dr Aileen McLeod said:

"I'm delighted to be here at Comrie Development Trust, who successfully used the Community Right to Buy to purchase 90 acres at Cultybraggan Camp. Since purchasing the Camp in 2007 the Trust has worked closely with the local community to develop a range of activities including a community orchard, allotments, sports and recreational facilities and renewable energy projects.

"Comrie Development Trust is an example of the benefits the Community Right to Buy can bring to local communities. I welcome today's report which looks at the impact of community right to buy legislation over the last 10 years, for the first time.

"The report identifies examples of successes by community groups purchasing land through Community Right to Buy and also identifies barriers that face community groups and what we can do to address this.

"This report will contribute to our on-going work on community ownership of land through the Community Empowerment legislation, as well as our proposals for communities to compulsory acquire land for their sustainable development through the Land Reform Bill."

Chair of the Comrie Development Trust Board, Bill Thow said:

"Investment funds to achieve the community ownership of Cultybraggan Camp has already brought many benefits to the local area. The Trust is now looking to build on that foundation of ownership to generate significant investment funds back into the village community, both through its share offer and consultation events."

The report comes as the Scottish Government awards £175,000 over the next three years to Community Land Scotland, to promote community ownership across the whole of Scotland.

Dr McLeod added:

"As part of our commitment to encourage other groups to follow successful communities like Comrie, we have recently awarded Community Land Scotland a grant of £175.000 over the next three years, to promote community ownership across the whole of Scotland.

"This grant will also help to facilitate the exchange of information so that communities can learn from others experiences and successes. This is an important way to inspire communities to see the benefits of community land ownership, and to provide help and support through the community landownership journey."

Chair of Community Land Scotland, Lorne MacLeod said:

"Community Land Scotland is delighted that the Scottish Government is recognising through this grant that our organisation and members have an important role to play over the coming years in helping promote and explain community ownership, in supporting communities to realise their ambitions to own land, and in strengthening the sector.

"We look forward to playing our part in this ever evolving story of how Scottish land is being owned and managed differently, by local communities, and contributing to a more sustainable future."

Notes to editors

The report can be found at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/10/8581

Research findings are available here http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/10/9555