13 January 1999
Scots land reform will prompt ‘chaos’

THE Scottish Landowners Federation (SLF) said the Governments proposals for land reform in Scotland could cause economic chaos in the region.

The SLF claims the reforms could slash the price of land. This would hit economic development which was financed by land used as collateral.

Andrew Dingwall-Fordyce, convener of the SLF, said Government proposals to allow local communities to buy country estates at prices set by the Governments valuer were “patently unfair”.

The Government said last week that it planned to use Lottery money to help community groups buy the land on which they live. The plans include the use of compulsory purchase if the owners did not give the local community a chance to buy.

The Labour Party will legislate for land reform in Scotland if it wins power in the new Scottish Parliament in May.

Mr Dingwall-Fordyce said the SLF would consider action in the European court against the Governments plans.