Crown’s representative in Scotland launches campaign to transfer ownerless properties to public

Crown’s representative in Scotland launches campaign to transfer ownerless properties to public

Ambitious moves to transfer ownerless properties which have fallen to the Crown into public control to benefit communities across Scotland have been unveiled today.

The King’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer (KLTR) has launched a consultation on his proposals for a new Ownerless Property Transfer Scheme (OPTS) which aims to create opportunities for ownerless land and buildings currently blighting cities, towns and countryside to be transformed into fully functioning public assets for future generations.

Under the scheme, ownerless properties can be sold for a nominal sum to key public sector partners for community use where it is in the public interest to do so.

KLTR David Harvie, the Crown’s representative in Scotland, hopes the scheme can deliver tangible benefits by bringing ownerless properties back into public use.

In launching the consultation, he said: “The OPTS is an ambitious scheme, a new approach and a new way of thinking, which will require collaborative working between public bodies and representative groups if real and tangible benefits are to be delivered to the people of Scotland.

“I recognise the long-term negative impact that ownerless land and buildings can have on our communities, our cities, our towns and villages and on the residents within these areas. The scheme will provide opportunities for communities throughout Scotland to benefit from converting ownerless property into owned property, both land and buildings in both urban and rural areas, by bringing them back into productive use.

“I therefore hope the OPTS will play a fundamental part in bringing interested parties together to agree on how ownerless property can be used in the best possible way and to the advantage of local people.”

Bobby Sandeman, KLTR’s head of department, said: “KLTR officials will work closely with key stakeholders, such as the Scottish Government, local authorities, Highland and Islands Enterprise, the Scottish Land Commission, Community Land Scotland and others to ensure the potential benefits of the scheme are recognised.”

He added: “This scheme will transform the way in which the KLTR deals with ownerless property and the way in which we deal with those who refer property to us. It will encourage, and require, collaborative working between public bodies and representative groups. Views expressed during the consultation will help to shape the new scheme and I look forward to receiving responses by 16 December, 2022.”

The closing date for responses to the consultation is Friday, December 16, 2022.

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