The Crofting Register will provide a definitive record of the extent of, and interests in, land within crofting tenure in Scotland. Like the Land Register, the Crofting Register is map-based. It will show defined extents of crofts, common grazings and land held Runrig against the backdrop of the Ordnance Survey map. In addition to showing the boundaries of such land against the OS map, the register will also contain information on the tenant or owner-occupier crofter on the land as well as the landlord and/or the landowner of the registered land
The register derives from the crofting reforms introduced by the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010. That Act brought about a clear demarcation between the regulation of crofting, which is the responsibility of the Crofting Commission, and the registration of crofts which now falls to the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland.
Registration is voluntary for the first year after commencement. Crofting communities are encouraged to take a collective approach towards registration in order to qualify for the reduced registration fee of £70 per croft instead of £90 for group registration. This equates to a 22 per cent reduction in fee where 10 or more crofts are submitted in the same group or, in crofting townships of less than 10 crofts, where all crofts are submitted at the same time.
After the first year, a number of trigger events requiring first registration of croft land, or amendment to croft land already entered on the Crofting Register will come into force. These trigger events are set out in sections 4 and 5 of the 2010 Act and mainly relate to actions requiring a regulatory application to the Crofting Commission for approval to change some aspect of the croft land (such as an application to assign or divide a croft). Any regulatory application after the first year must be accompanied by an application to register or update the croft land in the Crofting Register.
The application for registration will, in the first instance, be made to the Crofting Commission who, if satisfied that basic information required for registration has been met, will forward the application to RoS. The person responsible for submitting a registration application is set out in Schedule 2 to the 2010 Act.
There is often limited documentary evidence supporting the extent of and interests in a croft, common grazings or land held runrig. The 2010 Act therefore provides for a 9 month challenge period following the initial registration. Challenges are made, not to RoS, but to the Scottish land Court and the register may be amended to reflect a successful challenge.
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