Other community rights and legislation

In this section you can find out all you need to know about a range of other legislation that is in place to help community groups.

For those exploring taking on private assets through the Community Right to Buy legislation, information is provided in the Community Right to Buy section. 

For those looking at other rights available to communities, information is provided in the Community Empowerment Act section. 

Whichever route you are going down, the Developing your Project section gives advice on all aspects of developing an asset-based project. 

There has been a commitment for some years from successive Scottish Governments to community empowerment, part of which is asset ownership. Here is part of the journey to where we are now.

Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003

Part 2 of the Act provides an opportunity for communities to register an interest in land, then buy that land when the landowner decides to sell.

National Forest Land Scheme 2005

Gave community organisations, recognised non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and/or appropriate housing bodies the chance to buy or lease National Forest Land where they can provide increased public benefits. Now replaced by Community Empowerment Act.

Scottish Government/ COSLA Community Empowerment Action plan 2009

Highlighted the importance of community empowerment and the part that asset ownership can play in that.

Disposal of land by Local Authorities (Scotland) Regulations 2010

Enabled local authorities to dispose of land and buildings at less than best financial consideration provided “best value” is achieved through economic, regeneration, social, environmental or health benefits.

Changes to the Scottish Public Finance Manual (SPFM) 2014

Applies to public agencies and allows the disposal of an asset to a community at less than market value if delivering wider public benefits consistent with the principles of Best Value.

Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015

Aimed to change the balance of power between communities and the public sector, introducing more rights, strengthening their voices and encouraging partnership working.

Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016

It is notable for granting Scottish Ministers the power to force the sale of private land to community bodies to further sustainable development in the absence of a willing seller.