Target set to register all of Scotland's land

All of Scotland’s land will be registered for the first time which will provide a clear understanding of who owns our land.

An efficient, effective and indemnified land registration system is recognised by the World Bank as one of the most important factors in achieving economic development and business growth.

The Scottish Government have asked the Registers of Scotland to prepare to complete Scotland’s land register within 10 years and have committed to registering all public land within 5 years. 26 per cent of the land mass of Scotland is currently on the Land Register.

Today’s announcement follows the recent publication from the Land Reform Review Group. One of their recommendations stated –

  • The Review Group considers the limited progress to date in the coverage of Scotland’s Land Register is a major issue. Given the economic and wider public benefits this will deliver, the Group recommends that the Scottish Government should be doing more to increase the rate of registrations to complete the Land Register, including a Government target date for completion of the Register, a planned programme to register public lands and additional triggers to induce the first registration of other lands.

The Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:

“We are committed to addressing land reform that will help build a flourishing modern Scotland.

“The Land Reform Review Group made many recommendations which we will consider carefully and we are already acting in many of the these areas. One of their key recommendations was on land registration and I agree with the Group that a fundamental step on this journey must be having a clear understanding of who owns our land in Scotland.

“Along with my colleague Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing, I have asked Registers of Scotland to prepare to complete land registration within 10 years, with all public land registered within five years. There will be a lot of detail to go through, but we look forward to working with stakeholders to make this possible.

“This will benefit everyone as land transactions are more difficult and expensive if it’s not already on the land register.

“This is a vital underpinning step in Scotland’s land reform journey and will ensure that at last everyone will know who owns Scotland.”

Sheenagh Adams, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, who will be consulting on all aspects of completing the register, said:

“Registers of Scotland welcomes the support of Scottish Ministers in accelerating completion of the Land Register. The Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act 2012, which will fully come into force later this year, gives us the powers to achieve this. We look forward to working closely with property owners across Scotland to ensure Scotland’s citizens and institutions reap the social and economic benefits that flow from a publicly guaranteed system of rights in land and property.”

View the full release on the Scottish Government website.