Community Land Advisory Service Scotland

CLAS Scotland support helps community organisations and landowners to secure land for growing and nature-based activities, enabling people in communities across Scotland to benefit. Our information and advice service is designed to make good use of the opportunities of the policy environment in Scotland, and  share the experience and knowledge of our members and partners.  

There are potential opportunities for all communities in Scotland, urban and rural, to look at securing the use of land that is currently publicly or privately owned. The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 can help empower communities through the ownership of land and buildings and strengthen their voices in the decisions and services that matter to them. It does a number of things including: extending the community right to buy, making it simpler for communities to take over public sector land and buildings, and strengthening the statutory base for community planning. Crucially it will also improve outcomes for communities by improving the process of community planning, ensuring that local service providers work together even more closely with communities to meet the needs of the people who use them.  

CLAS supports the land aspects of the Act, and our key means of support to landowners and communities is The Guide for Landowners: for owners and users of land for community benefit. 

The Guide for Landowners 2018 provides comprehensive information and advice to anyone seeking to secure land for community run nature based and growing activities: landowners, project groups and support organisations can all benefit from using the Guide. Communities are empowered to find and secure land to expand and strengthen their capacity to provide local activities and services; and, landowners that are keen to support community projects have the guidance and tools to help them consider their legal responsibilities and to secure their rights. This gives both parties the confidence to enter and successfully complete the process of negotiation and to meet both partners’ needs and obligations.  

This publication is a response to evidence, which shows community groups can struggle to find land to develop local greenspace activity. Meanwhile, many landowners are keen to support such projects, but lack the knowledge of how to go about it. It was written by the Community Land Advisory Service in conjunction with the Community Growing Forum Scotland (previously the Grow Your Own Working Group), Scottish Land & Estates and The Scottish Government. It was originally created in 2013 and was comprehensively updated in 2018.  A version of the Guide, along with template leases below, are available to download for free. Browse the sections below for further information on the Guide and other links, tools and ideas.

The Guide for Landowners - download here

If you need further support, contact us at scotland@farmgarden.org.uk

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