Land Reform

I have longstanding interest and expertise in land reform policy in Scotland.   

My 2009 Scotsman article (Cash Up-Front or Right to Buy is Meaningless) called on the Scottish Government to reintroduce the then defunct Scottish Land Fund to support community buyouts.

In 2010 I led a study on Post-Legislative Scrutiny of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 on behalf of the Scottish Parliament.  The research examined implementation of the access, community right to buy and crofting community right to buy provisions of the Act.   

My West Highland Free Press article of March 11th 2011, Assessing the Land Reform Process, on the Act's Community, and Crofting Community, Rights to Buy provisions, stated that there was a pressing need to reignite the political momentum driving land reform in the first years of devolution. 

Partly in response to the Parliament's post-legislative scrutiny of the Land Reform Act, the Scottish Government announced the formation of the Land Reform Review Group in 2012 to develop "innovative and radical" proposals to take the land reform agenda forward.

The research that I led on behalf of the Scottish Parliament is extensively cited in an Overview of Evidence on Land Reform in Scotland published by the Scottish Government to accompany that announcement.

In 2017 I was commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise to write a discussion paper on The Future of Community Land Ownership in Scotland.   

Between 2018-2022 I was Community Land Scotland's (CLS) Policy Director. I wrote CLS's manifesto for the 2021 Scottish Parliament Election and  led on advocacy for legislative and other policy developments to support community land ownership.  

In 2023 I wrote a discussion paper for The Jimmy Reid Foundation, titled Land Reform for the Common Good, which calls for a more radical and integrated approach to land reform policy in Scotland than has been the case since devolution. 

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