Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 1976

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1976 c. 21


Crofting Reform(Scotland) Act 1976

1976 CHAPTER 21

An Act to confer new rights on crofters and cottars to acquire subjects tenanted or occupied by them; to confer rights on crofters to share in the value of land resumed by landlords or taken possession of compulsorily; to protect the interests of crofters and cottars from planning blight; to make further provision as to financial assistance for crofters, cottars and certain owner-occupiers of certain land; to make further provision as to the removal of land from crofting tenure; to amend the law with respect to common grazings; to extend the powers of the Scottish Land Court; to make provision for pensions and compensation for members of the Crofters Commission; and for connected purposes.

[10th June 1976]

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 New rights of crofters and cottars to acquire their subjects.

1 New rights of crofters and cottars to acquire their subjects.

(1) A crofter may, failing agreement with the landlord as to the acquisition by the crofter of croft land tenanted by him, apply to the Land Court for an order authorising him to make such acquisition.

(2) A crofter shall be entitled to a conveyance of the site of the dwelling-house on or pertaining to the croft tenanted by him, and a cottar shall be entitled to a conveyance of the site of the dwelling-house on or pertaining to his subject, and the crofter or cottar may, failing agreement with the landlord, apply to the Land Court for an order requiring the landlord to grant such a conveyance.

(3) In this Act ‘croft land’ includes any land being part of a croft, other than—

(a ) the site of the dwelling-house on or pertaining to the croft;

(b ) any land, comprising any part of a common grazing, unless the land has been apportioned under section 27(4) of the Act of 1955 and is either—

(i) adjacent or contiguous to any other part of the croft, or

(ii) arable machair;

(c ) any right to mines, metals or minerals or salmon fishings (not being salmon fishings in Orkney or Shetland) pertaining to the croft.

(4) In this Act, ‘the site of the dwelling-house’ includes any building thereon and such extent of garden ground as, failing agreement with the landlord, may be determined by the Land Court by order under section 4(1) of this Act to be appropriate for the reasonable enjoyment of the dwelling-house as a residence but does not include—

(a ) any right to mines, metals or minerals pertaining thereto; or

(b ) where there is more than one dwelling-house on or pertaining to a croft or, as the case may be, the subject of a cottar, the site of more than one dwelling-house; or

(c ) where the site of the dwelling-house on or pertaining to a croft has been acquired by the crofter after the passing of this Act, the site of any dwelling-house erected after such acquisition on or pertaining to the remainder of the croft.

S-2 Authorisation by Land Court of acquisition of croft land.

2 Authorisation by Land Court of acquisition of croft land.

(1) The Land Court, on an application made to them under section 1(1) of this Act, may make an order—

(a ) authorising the crofter to acquire such croft land as may be specified in the order, subject to such terms and conditions as, failing agreement with the landlord, may be so specified, and requiring the landlord to convey the land to the crofter or his nominee in accordance with such terms and conditions; or

(b ) refusing the application.

(2) The Land Court shall not make an order in accordance with subsection (1)(a ) above where they are satisfied by the landlord as to either or both of the following matters—

(a ) that, in all the circumstances pertaining to the landlord and having regard to the extent of land owned by him to which the Act of 1955 applies, the making of such an order would cause a substantial degree of hardship to the landlord;

(b ) that the making of such an order would be substantially detrimental to the interests of sound management of the estate of the landlord of which the croft land to which the application relates forms part.

(3) The Land Court, in making an order in accordance with subsection (1)(a ) above, may provide that the authorisation to acquire is conditional on the crofter granting a lease to the landlord of the shooting rights over or the fishing rights pertaining to the croft land and shall so provide where they are satisfied that if such a lease were not granted the interests of the landlord in the shooting or fishing rights of which the rights being acquired by the crofter form part would be materially affected; and any such lease shall be at such nominal annual rent, for such period of not less than 20 years and subject to such other terms and conditions as the Land Court may specify.

(4) The Land Court, in making an order in accordance with subsection (1)(a ) above, may include the condition that the crofter shall grant a standard security in favour of the landlord to secure any sum which may become payable to him or his personal representative under section 3(3) of this Act in the event of disposal of the croft land or any part thereof.

(5) Where the Land Court propose to make an order authorising the crofter to acquire—

(a ) land comprising any part of a common grazing which has been apportioned under section 27(4) of the Act of 1955; or

(b ) land held runrig which has been apportioned under section 27(7) of that Act,

and they are satisfied that the apportionment has been made subject to conditions imposed by the Commission under section 15(5) of the Act of 1961, or, as the case may be, the said section 27(7), they shall have regard to the conditions so imposed.

S-3 Consideration payable in respect of acquisition of croft land.

3 Consideration payable in respect of acquisition of croft land.

(1) Where the Land Court make an order in accordance with section 2(1)(a ) of this Act and the crofter and the landlord have failed to reach agreement about the consideration payable in respect of the acquisition, the consideration shall, subject to subsection (3) below, be the crofting value of the croft land specified in the order as determined by the Land Court under subsection (2) below.

(2) The crofting value of the croft land, as determined by the Land Court for the purposes of subsection (1) above, shall be 15 years' purchase of such amount as the Land Court may determine to be the proportion attributable to the croft land of the current rent payable for the croft of which the croft land forms part:

Provided that the Land Court, on an application made to them by the landlord at any time before they make a final order under section 2(1) of this Act, may determine a fair rent for the croft which shall be deemed to be the current rent for the purposes of this subsection; and section 5(4) of the Act of 1955 shall apply for the purposes of this proviso as if for the word ‘parties’ there were substituted the words ‘landlord and the crofter’.

(3) If the person who has acquired croft land by virtue of section 2(1) of this Act (‘the former crofter’) or a member of the former crofter's family who has obtained the title to that land either—

(i) as the nominee of the former crofter, or

(ii) from the former crofter or his nominee,

disposes of that land or any part of it (‘the relevant land’) to anyone who is not a member of the former crofter's family, by any means other than by a lease for crofting or agricultural purposes, forthwith or at any time within five years of the date of its acquisition by the former crofter then, subject to subsection (6) below, the person disposing of the relevant land shall pay to the landlord referred to in the said section 2(1) or to his personal representative a sum equal to one half of the difference between—

(a ) the market value of the relevant land (on the date of such disposal) which, failing agreement between the parties concerned, shall be as determined by the Land Court under subsection (4) below on the application of such landlord or personal representative; and

(b ) the consideration which was paid under subsection (1) above in respect of the relevant land.

(4) The market value of the relevant land as determined by the Land Court shall be the amount which the land, if sold in the open market by a willing seller (not being an authority as defined in section 1(1)(b ) of the Community Land Act 1975 ), might be expected to realise assuming that on the date of the disposal—

(a ) there were no improvements on the land which, if the land were let to a crofter, would be permanent improvements in respect of which the crofter would be entitled to compensation under section 14 of the Act of 1955 on renunciation of the tenancy of the croft of which the land formed part;

(b ) no other development had been carried out on the land (not being development carried out on the land, when it was subject to the tenancy of the former crofter or any of his predecessors in the tenancy, by a person other than that crofter or any of such predecessors); and

(c ) no development of the land which consisted of the making of such an improvement as is referred to in paragraph (a ) above were or would be permitted in pursuance of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1972 .

(5) If the relevant land comprises only part of the land which was acquired under section 2(1) of this Act, the Land Court may, failing agreement between the parties concerned, on an application made to them by the person disposing of the relevant land or the landlord referred to in the said section 2(1) or his personal...

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