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Corporate Services Blog

Scottish Land Reform Does Not Exclude Foreign Ownership

20/08/2015

Original proposals announced in November and December 2014 for the Scottish Land Reform Bill made by the Scottish Nationalist Party included prevention of non EU companies, Trusts and Partnerships from buying land.  However the Reform which was published on 22 June 2015 has not included this proposal.

The original intention of the proposal was to make the ownership of the land more transparent.  However experts had warned that this could prevent investment into Scotland.  It is common practice of overseas developers to use non-natural persons to hold business endeavours and regulations against the use of such structures could easily dissuade major investors.

If Scotland is to be a global player it is being warned not to impose such restrictions that might be deemed prejudice against non-EU investors.   It would seem that the exclusion of this restriction in the Land Reform Bill shows that Scotland is taking these warnings seriously.

Another proposal that has also been dropped is the cap on the amount of private land that can be owned by one person or company.
The bill is still in the introductory stage and will still need to go before government and be voted on, but the speculation is that this will be done before the end of parliament in 2016.

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