This Report is entitled "The Land of Scotland and the Common Good". It reflects the importance of land as a finite resource, and explores how the arrangements governing the possession and use of land facilitate or inhibit progress towards achieving a Scotland which is economically successful, socially just and environmentally sustainable.
Land is a resource which impacts directly or indirectly on many aspects of society - from food to housing, from leisure to climate change, and from building strong communities to economic development. In addressing the remit set by the Scottish Government, the Land Reform Review Group has therefore taken a broad approach to land reform, endeavouring to reflect as far as possible the full breadth of the subject.
Historically, land reform has largely been perceived as a rural development issue. This Report seeks to challenge that perception, by illustrating the importance of land - and how it is owned, managed and used - to the everyday lives of people throughout urban and rural Scotland. It spans topics as diverse as community ownership, urban renewal, natural resources, private and public land ownership, housing supply and agricultural land holdings and it recognises the need to modernise property law and the fiscal systems which govern land ownership and management. By taking this approach, we hope to stimulate greater interest in land reform among the wider population, ensuring that land reform becomes and remains a subject at the heart of the Scottish political agenda.
As a time limited Review Group, we are acutely aware that Government approaches to land reform, when there has been a political will to engage with the issue at all, have traditionally been characterised by periodic review and piecemeal intervention. Given the importance of land reform to delivering societal aspirations, we recommend that the Scottish Government regard land as a separate, well supported area of policy, to ensure that the common good of the people of Scotland is well served by its land resources.
It has been a privilege for us to serve on this independent Review Group and we thank the Scottish Government for giving us the opportunity to do so.