We are working to build links between land use planning and community ownership, both of which act over land in the public interest.
The “Land Reform” issue of the planning professional magazine in September 2022 included 3 articles on community landownership– have a read of this here.
One of our priorities is to get communities to be more proactive about land, as opposed to reactively trying to use their land rights to stop development or a sale. We are supporting an increased number of community groups who are involved in the planning system in some way, but are exploring if community land ownership provides alternative to address their needs.
We led on Community Land Scotland’s submission for the National Planning Framework 4 and were successful in getting a range of policies included which support community landownership. This includes explicit policy support for community landownership (policy 25 for Community Wealth Building), as well as for repopulation. This is notable step forward in connecting planning and land reform, as the NPF4 sets national planning policy which must be followed by all development plans.
We have been researching and increasingly advocating for an easy-to-use community site designation, like prior notification of sale proposed in the Land Reform Bill or Assets of Community Value in England. This could have planning weight, and link to community land rights. We think that communities should be able to easily use supportive policy for land use and land ownership, which will create a fairer land system with more democractic oversight.