Crofters (Scotland) Act 1961

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1961 c. 58


Crofters (Scotland) Act, 1961

(9 & 10 Eliz. 2) CHAPTER 58

An Act to make fresh provision with respect to the reorganisation, development and regulation of crofting in the crofting counties of Scotland; to authorise the making of grants and loans for the development of agricultural production on crofts and on holdings comparable in value and extent to crofts; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Increase in membership of Crofters Commission.

1 Increase in membership of Crofters Commission.

1. Subsection (3) of section one of the Act of 1955 (which provides amongst other things that the Commission shall consist of not more than six members) shall have effect as if the word ‘nine’ were substituted for the word ‘six’.

S-2 Provisions as to new crofts and enlarged crofts and common grazings.

2 Provisions as to new crofts and enlarged crofts and common grazings.

(1) The landlord and the tenant of any holding which—

(a ) is situated in the crofting counties but is not a croft, and

(b ) is either a holding of which the area does not exceed seventy-five acres (exclusive of any common pasture or grazing held therewith) or a holding of which the annual rent does not exceed fifty pounds,

may apply jointly to the Secretary of State for a direction that the holding shall be a croft, and the Secretary of State may, if he thinks fit, make the direction applied for and, if he makes such direction, then as from the date of the direction the holding shall be a croft and the Act of 1955 and this Act shall apply thereto accordingly.

(2) Where the owner of any land which is not itself a croft and which does not form part of a croft agrees to grant a tenancy of such land to any crofter, then—

(a ) except in such a case as is mentioned in paragraph (b ) of this subsection, if the owner of the said land and the crofter agree that such land will form part of any croft of which the crofter is tenant, the land shall, as from the date of entry under the said tenancy, form part of such croft, and the Act of 1955 and this Act shall apply accordingly to the croft as so enlarged;

(b ) in a case where the area of the croft (exclusive of any common pasture or grazing held therewith) together with the area of the land exceeds seventy-five acres and the rent of the croft together with the rent under the said tenancy exceeds fifty pounds, the Secretary of State may, on an application in that behalf made to him jointly by the owner of the land and the crofter, direct that the land shall form part of the croft and, if he makes such direction, then as from the date of the direction or the date of entry under the said tenancy, whichever is the later, the land shall form part of the croft, and the Act of 1955 and this Act shall apply accordingly to the croft as so enlarged.

(3) Where any such land as is mentioned in paragraph (a of section eight of this Act is included in a reorganisation scheme made under that section and confirmed by the Secretary of State, then as from the date on which the scheme is put into effect the Act of 1955 and this Act shall apply to such land.

(4) Where the owner of any land to which the Act of 1955 and this Act do not apply agrees to grant rights in any pasture or grazing land to the crofters sharing in any common grazing and the said owner and crofters agree that such land will form part of the said common grazing, then as from the date on which such rights are first exercisable by the crofters, the land shall form part of the common grazing, and the said Acts shall apply accordingly to the common grazing as so enlarged.

(5) The Secretary of State shall give notice to the Commission of any direction given by him under subsection (1) or (2) of this section, and the owner of any land which becomes part of a croft or of a common grazing by virtue of paragraph (a ) of subsection (2) of this section or, as the case may be, the last foregoing subsection, shall give notice to the Commission of the enlargement of such croft or common grazing.

(6) In the application to the crofting counties of section four of the Small Landholders and Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act, 1931 (which amongst other things confers power on the Land Court in certain circumstances to cancel the registration of a person as a crofter) the words from ‘and where a person’ to the end of the section shall cease to have effect, and section four of the Act of 1955 (which relates to the registration of crofters) shall also cease to have effect.

(7) Any reference in the Landholders Acts to the registration of the tenant of any holding as a crofter shall, in the application of those Acts to the crofting counties, be construed as a reference to the giving by the Secretary of State of a direction under subsection (1) of this section that the holding shall be a croft.

S-3 Commission to maintain Register of Crofts.

3 Commission to maintain Register of Crofts.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Commission to compile and maintain a register of crofts (in this Act referred to as ‘the Register of Crofts’).

(2) There shall be entered in the Register of Crofts—

(a ) the name, location, rent and extent of every croft;

(b ) the name of the tenant and of the landlord of each croft; and

(c ) such other matters relating to each croft as the Commission may, with the approval of the Secretary of State, decide are proper to be entered in the Register;

and the Commission shall from time to time insert new entries in the Register or alter or omit existing entries so far as may be necessary to ensure the accuracy of the Register and shall send a copy of any new entry inserted by them after the commencement of this Act, or of any entry altered by them after such commencement, to the landlord and the tenant of the croft concerned, and shall intimate the omission of any entry to the owner and the tenant (if any) of the land concerned.

(3) The Commission shall, on a request for an extract of any entry in the Register of Crofts being made to them by a person who, in their opinion, has good reason for desiring an extract of the said entry, furnish that person with such extract certified by the person for the time being acting as secretary to the Commission; and a document purporting to be an extract of an entry in the Register and to be certified as aforesaid shall be sufficient evidence that the Register contains such an entry.

(4) Subsections (2) to (4) of section fifteen of the Act of 1955 (which relate to the compilation by the Commission of a register of crofts) shall cease to have effect, but the register of crofts compiled by the Commission under the said subsection (2) shall, so far as it contains particulars which are required by or under subsection (2) of this section to be entered in the Register of Crofts, be deemed to have been compiled by the Commission in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section.

S-4 Determination of questions by Land Court.

4 Determination of questions by Land Court.

(1) Without prejudice to any jurisdiction exercisable by them under any enactment, the Land Court shall have power to determine, either on the application of any person having an interest or on a reference made to them by the Commission, any question of fact or law arising under the Act of 1955 or this Act, whether such question arises before or after the commencement of this Act, and including, without prejudice to the said generality,—

(a ) the question whether any holding is a croft;

(b ) the question who is the tenant of any croft;

(c ) any question as to the boundaries of a croft or of any pasture or grazing land a right in which forms part of a croft;

(d ) the question whether any land is or forms part of a common pasture or grazing to which the Act of 1955 and this Act apply:

Provided that the Land Court shall not have power under this subsection to determine—

(i) any question of a kind reserved by the Act of 1955 or this Act to a court other than the Land Court; or

(ii) any question (other than a question of law) decided by the Secretary of State or the Commission in the discharge of any of his or their functions under the Act of 1955 or this Act.

(2) The Land Court shall cause intimation to be made to the Commission of their determination on any question coming before them under the Landholders Acts (in their application to the crofting counties) or the Act of 1955 or this Act.

(3) So much of subsection (2) of section twenty-five of the Act of 1911 as provides for the stating by the Land Court of a special case for the opinion of the Court of Session on any question of law arising in proceedings in the Land Court under the Landholders Acts shall apply in relation to proceedings in the Land Court under any other enactment as it applies in relation to the first-mentioned proceedings.

(4) Subsection (2) of section thirty-four of the Act of 1955 (which provides for the stating by the Commission of a case for the opinion of the sheriff on questions of law arising in certain circumstances) shall cease to have effect.

S-5 Permanent improvements made on crofts for purposes of subsidiary or auxiliary occupations.

5 Permanent improvements made on crofts for purposes of subsidiary or auxiliary occupations.

(1) A crofter may erect any buildings or other structures, or execute any works, on his croft which—

(a ) are reasonably required to enable him to make use of the croft for any subsidiary or auxiliary occupation in accordance with paragraph 3 of the Second Schedule to the Act of 1955, and

(b ) will not interfere substantially with the use of the croft as an agricultural subject.

(2) Any...

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