New register launched detailing applications of community bodies to buy abandoned, neglected or detrimental land

Published: 27 June 2018

The new Register of Applications by Community Bodies to Buy Land (RoACBL) is live, and will record all applications of community bodies to buy land or property which is abandoned, neglected or causing harm to the environmental wellbeing of the community, where the owner is not willing to sell that land.

The RoACBL register is the 20th register to be maintained by Registers of Scotland (RoS). The register will reflect all applications by eligible community bodies to obtain consent from Scottish Ministers to a purchase of land or property that has been deemed by Scottish Ministers to be abandoned or neglected. Applications can also be made where it is considered that land or property is being used or managed in such a way as to result in or cause harm to the environmental wellbeing of a community.

Community bodies can apply if the purchase is in the public interest and compatible with the achievement of sustainable development of the land. Applications can only be made when a community body has already attempted to buy the land or property from the owner, and failed.

All decisions relating to applications will be taken solely by Scottish Ministers, while RoS will ensure that the register is maintained and available for public inspection. The register will be free to access.

Commenting on the launch of the new register, Jennifer Henderson, the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, said:

“Scotland became home to the world’s oldest land register in 1617, and I’m delighted that, over 400 years later, we have been entrusted with the guardianship of our 20th public register. The launch of ScotLIS last year, the strides we are making towards completion of the Land Register, and the launch of the RoACBL today, all indicate that we remain at the forefront of transparency, and ensuring that property and land are protected for the good of Scotland’s people.

“The new register will be an important resource for community bodies, solicitors, landowners, and for those with an interest in land reform.”

The creation of the register follows the launch of the Register of Community Interests in Land (RCIL), which went live in 2003, part of which deals with pre-emptive interest in right-to-buy, rather than a consent to purchase.

For further information on the RoCABL register please visit our registers page.


  1. Registers of Scotland is the government department responsible for compiling and maintaining registers relating to property and other legal documents in Scotland. Registers of Scotland records and safeguards the rights of the individual while providing open access to information on the registers.
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Media contact

Jacq Kelly
Press and public affairs manager
07825 388 120