04 January 1999
Rogue lairds may face land seizure

ABSENTEE landlords in Scotland could have their estates seized under legislation likely to be passed early in the new Scottish Parliament.

Scottish secretary Donald Dewar is expected to announce reforms which will include a “community right-to-buy”.

Up to £12 million-worth of Lottery money could be allocated to enable the Government to give grants to local people to take over any estate that comes on the market.

The reforms will also allow the state to force the compulsory purchase of any estates that are being mismanaged.

Andrew Dingwall-Fordwyce, spokesman for the Scottish Landowners Federation, said landowners would fight the proposals in the European Court if necessary.

  • The Scotsman 04/01/99 page 4