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Published by jack elliot

It has been estimated that fewer than 500 people own half of all privately-owned land in Scotland.

That is one of the highest concentrations of land ownership in Europe.

 

There is no definitive list of who owns what in Scotland and that inevitably leads to questions about transparency.

 

 half of the privately-owned land is in the hands of 432 people.

 

The newly formed Scottish Land Commission will try to establish whether such a small number of people holding so much is detrimental to society.

 

Scotland does have an unusually concentrated land ownership pattern.

 


 

 

 

 

The question of who owns Scotland has been an area of contention for many years.

With so much land in so few hands, it has already led to changes in the law such as the community right to buy.

 

 

Scotland has got very, very unusual land ownership patterns with very few people owning vast amounts of land.

That has big societal implications. It concentrates power in a few people's hands and it concentrates wealth.

 

 

'Transparency and accountability'

Ministers have already stated that parliament will have failed if land ownership in Scotland is not diluted.

But with land ownership at stake, a right protected under the European Convention on Human Rights, navigating an acceptable path could prove difficult.

At the moment Scotland has a wholly unregulated land market, which means to say it doesn't really matter where you're from or where your company is based.

Some people say that is absolutely fine and that allows for inward investment and this kind of thing. But there are some issues in terms of transparency and accountability.

 

 

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