Crofting Consultation 2017

Closes 20 Nov 2017

Consultation Contents

Aim of this consultation

This consultation is split into three sections.

The sections will ask the respondent a number of questions on matters relating to the type of legislation that may be brought forward and priorities for crofting legislation. The questions are designed to give the Scottish Government an indication of the change that is wanted.

Section 1 explains the background of crofting, why this consultation exists and the current Scottish Government policy position on crofting as a whole. The aim is to find out what respondents think of current Scottish Government crofting policy.

Section 2 sets out the different types of legislation that the Scottish Government can take forward for crofting within this Parliamentary session. By showing what options are available, the aim is for respondents to consider what is needed from legislation in order to make the changes they wish to see for the future of crofting.

Section 3 presents a number of issues for crofting that might be addressed as part of legislative reform. These have been identified from several sources, including the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee’s 2017 report ‘Review of Priorities for Crofting Law Reform’, the Crofting Law Sump, ‘The Final Report of the Committee of Enquiry into Crofting’ (the Shucksmith Report) and the early engagement work carried out by the Scottish Government across the crofting areas.

The aim is for respondents to focus on what changes to crofting legislation are required to make crofting fit for the 21st century. Some changes that may be identified might be better pursued through non-legislative means (for example, the altering of crofting policy). Others may require to be looked at in terms of wider agricultural policy and regulations, or even wider Scottish Government policy areas.

In recognition of the complex nature of crofting legislation and the way that matters are entwined, it is not considered practical to set out in this consultation all of the topics of discussion that have been raised. Instead, we have set out the general context for the issue concerned and given some broad examples of the issues reported. The questions in section 3 seek views and opinions as to the priorities for crofting legislation.

However, given the importance of wider crofting issues, these have been set out in summary form in Annex A. This provides information on the wider policy context for crofting and discusses the non-legislative work that is being undertaken in partnership with the Crofting Stakeholder Forum. Many of the matters that are discussed in this annex have been raised in relation to crofting law, but in fact may not require changes to crofting law in order to be dealt with. So, whilst important, these issues need to be looked at separately from change to crofting legislation.
 

Assignation -  the term used to describe the transfer with Crofting  Commission consent of a croft tenancy from the crofter” to a person of their choice.

Common grazings - Areas of grazing land used by a number of crofters and others who hold a right to graze on that land.

  • Grazing Committee – a committee set up to manage the common grazings.  They are elected by the crofters who use the land and to be regulated (protected by law) the committee must be recorded with the Crofting Commission
  • Grazing Constable – a person appointed by the Crofting Commission in the absence of a Grazings Committee who has similar powers and duties as a Grazing Committee
  • Grazing Share – a right to graze stock on a specific Common Grazing.

Crofting Census - a form issued annually by the Crofting Commission to a tenant or owner-occupier crofter to ascertain if they are complying with their duties. (Also known as an “Annual notice”)

Crofters Duties - Both tenant and owner-occupier crofters have a duty to be resident on, or within 32 kilometres of their croft; not to misuse or neglect the croft; and cultivate and maintain the croft or put the croft to another purposeful use.

  • Absenteeism -  when a crofter does not reside on or within 32 kilometres of a croft without prior agreement of the Crofting Commission.
  • Misuse - when a croft is being used for something which is not considered as cultivation.  Tenants require the consent of their landlord or, failing that, the Crofting Commission if they wish to put their croft to another purposeful use.
  • Neglect - This refers to the management of the croft which should meet the standards of Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC).
  • Cultivate - This refers to the croft being used for cultivation or put to another purposeful use. This includes horticulture, keeping livestock including poultry and bees, growing of crops and the planting of trees
  • Maintain - This refers to the maintenance of the croft; to enable the croft to be   cultivated it must be maintained in a fit state except where another purposeful use is incompatible with the croft being kept in such state.
  • Purposeful use – This refers to any planned and managed use which does not adversely affect the croft, the public interest, the interests of the landlord, or the use of adjacent land

Decrofting - The term used when land is removed from crofting tenure by a direction of the Crofting Commission.

Deemed Croft - When a crofter purchases their croft land and the grazings shares pertaining to that croft remain held in tenancy they are “deemed” to be a separate and distinct croft in their own right. As such these “deemed crofts” are given an individual entry in the Commission’s Register of Crofts

Intestate Succession -  When the executor of a deceased crofter notifies the landlord of the croft of the details of the person who has succeeded to the tenancy: in the case when a crofter dies without making a Will, or does not state in their Will who they wish to succeed to the tenancy of the croft, or where a bequest has failed.

Letting – The agreement between the landlord and tenant of a croft.     

  • Short Term Let - a period not exceeding 10 years where an owner-occupier crofter may, with Crofting Commission consent, let their croft to a tenant under a short term lease.

Standard Security -  a document which gives a mortgage provider certain rights over the mortgaged property

Subletting - Where a croft tenant with the consent of the Crofting Commission allows another person (known as the subtenant) to work all, or any part, of their croft and/or the shares in a common grazing for a fixed period of time.

REC Committee – Scottish Parliament Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee

Testate succession -  When a crofter makes a Will and they name the person(s) they wish to succeed to the croft tenancy following their death.

Page Response
Foreword This page has no questions
Section 1 - Introduction
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Section 2 - Options for legislative change
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Section 3 - Specific legislative priorities This page has no questions
Absenteeism, Misuse and Neglect
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Assignation and Succession
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Common Grazings
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Crofting Commission Regulatory Functions and Processes
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Crofting Registration
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Owner-occupier Crofts
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Standard Securities
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Ordering of priorities
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About You (Required)
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Evaluation
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