MSP welcomes farming initiative

South of Scotland MSP Claudia Beamish has welcomed the announcement of a review of agricultural holdings legislation by the Scottish government.

The review was prompted by concerns in the tenanted sector about a range of issues.

Ms Beamish said: “This is a welcome announcement and I will be examining the review’s work and recommendations closely.

“I am eager to see the review examine ways to create more opportunities for new entrants to the sector and to ensure stability to create the conditions that will allow more long-term tenancies to encourage greater investment.

“The review must also look at the wider context of land ownership, which remains a key area of the land reform agenda in Scotland and one which the Scottish government must address as a matter of urgency.”

Meanwhile, Ms Beamish has welcomed the publication of clearer guidance on agricultural rent reviews to aid owners, tenants and professionals during negotiations. Along with a more comprehensive guide published in September, the new guidance fulfils part of the recommendations of the 2012 Rent Review Working Group.

Ms Beamish added: “The tenanted sector is an important part of the farming landscape in the south of Scotland but a number of issues have created tension between parties.

“Until relatively recently, the balance of power in the rent review process has been tipped in favour of landlords.

“Over the past couple of years a great deal of work has gone into redressing the balance and this guidance continues that good work.

“The guidance provides greater clarity for tenants and landlords which should assist the negotiation process and reduce reliance on the land court.

“I am pleased that the guidance has received the backing of groups on both sides of the negotiating table and hope this will lead to a situation where landlords are more confident to let and tenants are confident to invest.”