Written Questions on Crofting (June 2012)

To ask the Scottish Executive what work it has carried out with Registers of Scotland and the Crofting Commission to compile a new crofting register and when the register will be posted online.

Answered by Stewart Stevenson (26/06/2012): The Scottish Government is working closely with the Registers of Scotland and the Crofting Commission to develop the new Crofting Register, to be held by the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland under Part 2 of the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, which will provide legal certainty on the extent of, and interests in, croft land.The work in developing the new register is ongoing and includes consultation with key stakeholders and expected users of the register on a variety of issues, including the content of the register, the application processes, application forms and guidance. As well as meeting the full costs of developing and introducing the Crofting Register, the Scottish Government is also providing £100,000 towards reducing the cost of registration for groups submitting 10 or more crofts for registration at the same time. The Government is also providing a further £100,000 towards the preparation of applications and registration of common grazings on the new register and is working closely with the Crofting Commission on this project.

The Scottish Government is preparing the third commencement order for the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 to commence the provisions relating to the new register. This is expected to be laid before the Scottish Parliament shortly after the 2012 Summer Recess and will be followed by a Registers of Scotland Fees Order and Rules. Subject to Parliamentary approval, this should allow the register to be publicly available for registration of croft land towards the end of this year.

Current Status: Answered by Stewart Stevenson on 26/06/2012
To ask the Scottish Executive whether it remains its position to bring forward the third commencement order for the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 in summer 2012.

Answered by Stewart Stevenson (26/06/2012): The Scottish Government expects to lay before the Scottish Parliament the third commencement order for the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, commencing the remaining provisions in the Act, which include the new Crofting Register, as planned, shortly after the 2012 Summer Recess.
Current Status: Answered by Stewart Stevenson on 26/06/2012
To ask the Scottish Executive how it encourages the development of new crofts.

Answered by Stewart Stevenson (26/06/2012): The Scottish Government encourages the development of new crofts in a number of ways, including through working closely with the Crofting Commission to help it better regulate crofting and with Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its crofting development function.The Scottish Government also encourages communities to purchase Scottish Ministers’ croft land under the transfer of Crofting Estates (Scotland) Act 1997 as a means to establishing new crofts for community benefit. We would encourage all landlords, in both the public and private sectors to consider setting up new crofts, which should contribute to the long-term sustainability of crofting.

Once new crofts have been established, financial support is available from specific crofting grants and the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP). Specific measures to assist new, primarily young, entrants are the extra 10% assistance from the Crofting Counties Agricultural Grants Scheme made available to those under 40 years of age, and the assistance with interest rate relief for new entrants to agriculture whose agricultural standard labour requirement is greater than 25%. In addition, the Croft House Grants Scheme provides up to £22,000 assistance to help crofters live on the crofts they work.

Current Status: Answered by Stewart Stevenson on 26/06/2012
To ask the Scottish Executive how many new crofts have been registered since August 2010.

Answered by Stewart Stevenson (26/06/2012): The information requested is not held centrally. The current Register of Crofts is administered on behalf of Scottish Ministers by the Crofting Commission and I have asked the Chief Executive of the Crofting Commission to respond to you directly with the information you have requested.
Current Status: Answered by Stewart Stevenson on 26/06/2012
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