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Hebrides News




In your report of 28th February, Community versus corporate windfarms row, you report on the “underlying message” from a council seminar “that a group of crofting villages is throwing a spanner in the works and threatening the economic revitalisation vision.”


It is an outrageous affront to crofting tenure and the rights enshrined in it, which the people fought for until statutory recognition was established in 1886, to suggest that the present day crofters should stand aside and allow the landlord a free run at using the land which has historically been theirs.  


Section 19A of the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 makes it clear that shareholders have security of tenure to their rights in the common grazings and the landlords or their developers can only make use of the common grazings in the way that they intend if the Scottish Land Court consent to their scheme.  


All shareholders have a right before the land court to protect their rights by presenting their objections to the scheme to the land court and have the land court measure the strength of these objections against the scheme.  


That right is enshrined in the legislation and supported by a convention in the land court, to ensure that objections are not stifled, that the landlord will be found liable for objectors legal expenses and the expenses of any experts, whether or not the landlord is successful in obtaining consent for their scheme. Therefore, to suggest that shareholders should not exercise their rights and statutory protections and ask the land court to consider their objections is objectionable and undignified for a council in a crofting county.  Not even Leverhulme tried to take existing crofting rights away.


The “group of crofting villages” should not allow themselves to feel intimidated.


Lewis Kermack



Letter:  Crofters should not be “intimidated”

3 March 2018