Land reform measures passed by Scottish Parliament

Gigha was the subject of a community buy-out. Picture: TSPL

Gigha was the subject of a community buy-out. Picture: TSPL

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Historic new laws which could open up large swathes of Scotland to community ownership were passed by MSPs last night.

The Land Reform Bill will allow the Scottish Government to order sell-offs of parts of estates in Scotland if they are judged to block economic development.

Changes to tenant farming legislation will allow these to be passed on for the first time, while tax breaks for sporting estates will come to an end.

The Scottish Government yesterday unveiled a

£10 million fund to help community buy-outs.

Land reform minister

Aileen MacLeod said: “We have restructured the fund to ensure support is available to communities from the idea stages right through to project development.”

But the changes have come under fire from the country’s landowners.

David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish land and Estates, said; “We feel that all these measures combined could have a serious effect on investment in rural Scotland.”

READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch: SNP must get radical on land reform

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