In September, the Scottish Government published its consultation on the proposals to bring forward a register of controlling interests in land.

This follows on from Section 39 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016, which requires the Scottish Government to make provision for such a register with the aim of improving transparency in land ownership in Scotland.

The consultation identifies a number of issues that are being considered and need to be resolved in developing the regulations to deliver a register of controlling interests in land, including:

  • the definition of a “controlling interest” in relation to a land owner or tenant – the consultation suggests that decision-making control may be more relevant than financial benefit and looks to the “people with significant control” framework recently introduced for UK companies;
  • the type of land that will be covered – it is proposed that all land in Scotland will be covered, irrespective of land use, urban or rural location, or whether or not it is built upon; and
  • where the information should be held – as the Land Register is incomplete, it is likely that a new public register will be created and maintained by Registers of Scotland.

The deadline for responding to the consultation is 5pm on 5 December 2016. The consultation paper can be accessed here.