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Welcome to the Scottish Community Land Network

This site is for people interested in the management and ownership of land-based assets by communities in Scotland. A Scottish Community Land Network, you might say... As you know the internet is a big 'place' with everything about anything so we brought you relevant news and events, and provide opportunities to share ideas with other people interested in this subject. There are almost 1000 members, and more than 800 articles in our archive.

 

Scottish Community Land Network will not be kept up-to-date after March 2012. However, a new site is being produced by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and details will be published on this site as soon as they are available.

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Kinghorn Community Land Association

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Where is it?  The Royal Burgh of Kinghorn lies about half way between Burntisland and Kirkcaldy, discount viagra sovaldi on the south coast of Fife.  Kinghorn Loch is located to the north west of the village.  The north side of the loch is currently home to the Ecology Centre, ask malady whilst the east and west sides are former industrial sites.  A lot of local people use the loch and its surrounding area for quiet recreation and enjoyment of the outdoors.

What is it?  Kinghorn Community Land Association (KCLA) was formed in response to concerns about the loch and the land surrounding it.  The group currently has over one hundred members, case nurse including a steering committee of eight people.

Why did the community decide to form a group?  In 2003, the landowner attempted to evict the Ecology Centre from their site on the edge of the loch.  Although that wouldn’t necessarily have meant that local people could no longer use the area for recreation, it did make them realise how much they valued the land.  They also realised that, as things stood, they had no say in how the area was used and managed.

How did they form the group?  The Ecology Centre applied for a technical assistance grant from the Scottish Land Fund to investigate the possibility of using the Land Reform Act to secure the Kinghorn loch area for the community.  The investigations included a community consultation and a public meeting was held in February 2004, which was attended by 140 local people.  After discussion, 98% of the people at the meeting voted to pursue registering an interest in the land under Part 2 of the Land Reform Act, the so-called ‘Community Right to Buy’.  Some people volunteered to be part of a steering group, which eventually became the Kinghorn Community Land Association.

boats on lochDid they register an interest in the land?  As the KCLA was finding its feet and beginning to function as an organisation, rumours spread that an area of land adjacent to the east lochside was up for sale.  KCLA was forced to try and catch up with the situation by putting in a late application to the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD).  As KCLA didn’t have Community Body status as yet, it was decided to form a new group called KCLA2005.  This group was virtually the same in all but name, and was formed to speed up Ministerial recognition for the Right to Buy process. This avoided the time consuming process of changing the group’s original Memorandum and Articles of Association to fit with the emerging requirements of SEERAD.  An application to register an interest in the land was submitted in March 2005 and accepted by SEERAD in May 2005.

So did they get to buy the land?  At the same time as the registration of interest was approved, the seller of the land announced that it had already been sold, prior to the date it was first marketed and the group’s registration under the Land Reform Act.  The group considered a legal challenge, but were advised that it would be expensive and had no guarantee of success.

What did they do after that? The association completed a lot more community consultation to establish what the community wanted to achieve with the loch area.  As a result, they were able to produce a vision statement for Kinghorn Loch and its surroundings.

They also realised that they needed to submit registrations for the remaining areas of land at the Loch as soon as possible, to avoid any more of the land being sold on the open market.   Eighteen applications were prepared, but the group tried to tread a difficult line between wanting to be open with their community whilst avoiding publicity that would encourage landowners and developers to take out pre-emptive option agreements.  But trying to do things quickly and quietly also caused problems, with the community council expressing concerns that the applications had been submitted without much opportunity for public debate.  A community meeting was held to discuss the situation further and to ensure that everyone had an opportunity to voice their opinions.  All eighteen applications were eventually approved by SEERAD in June 2007, after many months of waiting for the KCLA.

What’s happening now?  Although the right to buy registrations were eventually accepted by SEERAD, the community can only buy the land if it comes up for sale and if they can raise the funds required for purchase.  KCLA have now commissioned a feasibility study for all nineteen plots around the Loch so they are as prepared as they possibly can be for when owners decide to sell and trigger the Right to Buy process. Meanwhile the developer who bought the very first plot on the east lochside has now offered to sell it to KCLA after all.  KCLA plan to buy and lease it on for a new Ecology Centre base.

Many thanks to Chris Mitchell from KCLA for his assistance with preparing this case study.

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