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Monday, 27 December, 1999, 09:23 GMT
Wallace pledges new era of land ownership

Great Cumbrae Islanders on Great Cumbrae made a bid for the land


The new millennium will see a new era of land ownership for Scotland, according to Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace.

Mr Wallace said land issues, which have been a source of contention in the past, will begin to be seriously addressed within the life of the first Scottish parliamentary term.

The Scottish Executive has published a white paper which promises to give communities the right to buy the land on which they live and new rights of access.


Jim Wallace Jim Wallace: "New era"
However, Mr Wallace said these proposals will open the door for more reform as the Scottish Executive seeks to end the "archaic feudal system of the past".

He said: "Land reform may not always grab the headlines but few people can be unaware that radical changes to the way land is owned and managed in Scotland are on the way.

"The new millennium will be a new beginning for land ownership in Scotland."

The justice minister, who embarked on a tour of Scotland to highlight land reforms, said proposals offering crofting communities the right to buy are also in the pipeline and a series of measures which do not require legislation are being implemented.

"This is only the beginning. Over the next four or five years we will be introducing a steady stream of changes," he promised.

Recent successes

There have been recent successes for residents seeking to buy land once owned by lairds.

People on the island of Eigg celebrated when their long-running efforts to take possession of the land bore fruit.

And farmers and other tenants had bids totalling more than 1m for various parts of Great Cumbrae accepted by former racing driver and aristocrat Johnny Dumfries.

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See also:
20 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Convention looking for land reform
08 Jul 99 |  UK Politics
Land reform plans unveiled
01 Jun 99 |  UK Politics
Scots cabinet maps out way ahead
08 Jul 99 |  UK Politics
Wallace unveils land reform plans
06 Oct 99 |  Scotland
Bill to abolish feudal system tabled

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