08 April 1998
Kirk re-ignites land reform debate

THE Church of Scotland – the Scottish Kirk – will try to re-ignite the land reform debate at the General Assembly next month with a call for a new agreement to address what it calls the “unjust and anomalous” system of land tenure.

The Kirks authors say the unique system of Scottish ownership is still feudal – ownership is concentrated in fewer hands than anywhere else in Western Europe or the USA, with privately owned land accounting for 88% of the country.

Its report notes that some of the largest landowners do not appear to take account of the views of local communities in preparing development plans. It also says a substantial body of agricultural tenants have been pressing for their right to buy.

It says land reform needs to be directed towards reversing the treatment of land as a status symbol or a commodity and dispersing the concentration of landownership.

  • The Scotsman 08/04/98 page 8