This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Crofting Reform Bill
People are being asked to give their views on reforms outlined in the Draft Crofting Reform Bill published today.
The Draft Bill outlines measures that will allow the creation of new crofts, streamline the regulation of crofting, allow renewable energy projects on croft land and better balance the rights of crofters and landlords.
Rural Development Minister Ross Finnie said:
"The crofting way of life is unique to the Highlands and Islands. I am determined to see it developed in a sustainable way, to ensure it can be enjoyed for generations to come.
"The measures we are consulting on in the Draft Bill aim to ensure we have the legislation and regulatory system that crofters want and delivers real benefits to crofting communities.
"These changes will be of benefit on many levels. For example the creation of new crofts will allow young families to remain in or return to the crofting counties, helping reverse the trend of rural depopulation.
"Increased powers for the Crofters Commission to provide financial assistance will ensure support is better targeted to meet the needs of crofters.
"We are also proposing schemes which will allow croft land to be developed, for example to provide renewable energy sources, whilst maintaining protection for crofters, delivering community benefits and ensuring all individual crofters are treated fairly.
"I hope all those with an interest in sustaining this unique way of life take the time to comment on our plans, to make sure we put in place the right legislation for crofters, crofting communities and the Highlands and Islands as a whole."
This consultation paper follows previous consultation on a White Paper published in July 2002 and an announcement of additional measures to be included in the Bill made by Mr Finnie on 25 March 2003.
The consultation is announced in a parliamentary reply by Ross Finnie today.
The consultation paper includes a discussion of the outcome of the earlier consultation, a regulatory impact assessment the draft Bill text and explanatory notes. It seeks views on matters not covered in that earlier consultation including views on matters not covered by the draft Bill.