Much of Scotland’s land will remain outside the proposed Register of Controlled Interests in Land, whose purpose is to make land ownership more transparent, according to a report by the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee.
MSPs also found that there could be gaps or loopholes in the new Register as the proposals currently rely on multiple registers and exclude information that is in the public domain.
The Committee is therefore urging the Scottish Government to reconsider its approach. If the Register is to meet the aspirations of a transparent and accessible system all of the information should be accessible in a simple and straightforward way. The Committee is looking for assurance that all the information will be accessed via a single point and free to use.
These are the findings of MSPs who have been looking at draft regulations that will establish a Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land. The Land Reform Act 2016 gave the Scottish Government power to legislate to create a Register and the draft regulations that the Committee is considering provide the detail on how that will happen.
Convener of the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, Gillian Martin MSP said:
“The Committee was very clear in its conclusions. There should be transparency over who owns Scotland’s land, who takes decisions over its management and who benefits from its ownership.
“However, in looking at the proposed Register there are a number of areas of concern. We need to ensure the information on those who have control over land is transparent, easy to use and the information is available in one place.
“We are therefore calling on the Scottish Government to address these issues when they finalise the detail of their proposals.”