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January 13, 2016

How should our land be used?

Scotland’s much vaunted climate change legislation, apart from setting a high bar for reducing Scotland’s carbon emissions, also required Scottish Government to produce a strategy that would shape how one of Scotland’s most valuable and finite resources – land- should be used. The first ever Land Use Strategy, published in 2011, largely failed to make a connection with the emerging policy areas of community empowerment and land reform. For obvious reasons, it’s important that the next one does. The consultation on the second Land Use Strategy runs til the end of the month.


Scottish Govt

The first Land Use Strategy was published in March 2011. It initiated a step change towards a more integrated and strategic approach to land use. It is a requirement of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 that the Strategy is reviewed every five years and that a revised Strategy is laid before the Scottish Parliament.

This consultation draft Land Use Strategy 2016-2021 builds on the first Strategy and retains the strategic Vision, Objectives and Principles for Sustainable Land Use. These are considered fit for purpose in terms of continuing to provide the strategic direction for sustainable land use matters. The consultation draft provides a focussed set of priority activities for the next five years and policies and proposals have been developed around the following themes:

Policy Context – policies and proposals which provide further clarity on current Scottish Government policy and reinforce and ensure consistent messages.

Informed Decision Making – policies and proposals which underpin decision making with improved data, increased accessibility and wider empowerment of communities and stakeholders in decision making.

Applying the Principles – policies and proposals which apply the Land Use Strategy Principles on the ground, either as specific projects or in ways which influence direct change on the ground.

The draft second Land Use Strategy is subject to Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). SEA is a process applied to take into account the potential environmental impacts that may arise from the implementation of a plan, programme or strategy. It seeks to mitigate adverse effects and encourage enhancement of identified positive effects where possible. SEA is an open and transparent means of documenting how the environment has been considered in the plan making process. The results of this assessment process are set out in an Environmental Report. The consultation document should be read alongside the accompanying Environmental Report and comments are sought on both.


How to respond to the consultation: click here