The Scottish Greens today (27 Jan) welcomed the announcement by Scottish Ministers to seek a review of common land legislation, following pressure from Green MSPs who lodged amendments to the Land Reform Bill on the issue.Andy Wightman_small

Holyrood's Rural Affairs Committee did not discuss other amendments put forward by the Green MSPs, aimed at bringing derelict and vacant land into the valuation system to enable the owners to be taxed with those funds used for housebuilding. Those amendments are now due to be heard next Wednesday (3 Feb).

A petition backing the Green MSPs' derelict land amendments has gathered 1,400 signatures in just one week, with people posting support online using the hashtag #ThisCouldBeHome.

Andy Wightman, Land Reform spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP candidate for Lothian, said:

"The minister's decision to ask the Scottish Law Commission to review the Division of Commonties Act 1695 with a view to its repeal is a welcome move, clearly responding to the amendments put forward to the Bill by Green MSPs. By repealing the Division of Commonties Act we can start to correct a historic wrong that allowed landowners to divide and privatise vast swathes of common land.

"The commitment to ask the Scottish Land Commission to look at how best to protect remnant common land is also welcome. Failure to address this issue to date means that many areas still remain at risk of being appropriated. The task is urgent.

"Scottish Greens will continue to keep pressing the Scottish Government for stronger action on land reform, and we look forward to our amendments on derelict and vacant land being heard by the committee next week."