Landowners told to respond to demand for transparency

David Johnstone said transparency of land ownership is an important issue. Picture: Contributed
David Johnstone said transparency of land ownership is an important issue. Picture: Contributed
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Scotland’s landowners have been encouraged to get on the front foot in response to the public demand for more transparency over who owns land in this country.

The issue will headline the Scottish Land & Estates (SL&E) spring conference, which will be held in Edinburgh on 25 May and the right of the public to know who owns land is included in the land reform bill passed by the Scottish Parliament in March.

Speaking ahead of the event, SL&E chairman David Johnstone said that following the exhaustive debate on land reform over the last two years.

He said: “It is clear that transparency of land ownership in Scotland is an important issue and, as the organisation representing private landowners, we recognise that every effort should be made to demonstrate who owns both urban and rural land and what is done to ensure the best use is made of that land.”

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Johnstone added that SL&E had been a consistent supporter of the principle behind the measures brought forward in the Land Reform Act which are aimed at enhancing transparency of ownership.

“We are continuing to strongly encourage members to participate in the voluntary registration process,” he claimed.

“Many rural landowners feel with some justification that they have no problem with transparency.”