Getting the best from our land: A guide to Scotland’s first Land Use Strategy

Taken from – lots of get out clauses here and no mention of aesthetic value and quality.



A Scotland where we fully recognise, understand and value the importance of our land resources, and where our plans and decisions about land use deliver improved and enduring benefits, enhancing the wellbeing of our nation.


  • Land-based businesses working with nature to contribute more to Scotland’s prosperity
  • Responsible stewardship of Scotland’s natural resources delivering more benefits to Scotland’s people
  • Urban and rural communities better connected to the land, with more people enjoying the land and positively influencing land use

Principles for Sustainable Land Use

We expect that these Principles will be used by public bodies when making plans and taking significant decisions affecting land use. We also encourage 
all others with an interest in the land to have regard to them.


Opportunities for land use to deliver multiple benefits should be encouraged.


Regulation should continue to protect essential public interests whilst placing as light a burden on businesses as is consistent with achieving its purpose. Incentives should be efficient and cost-effective.


Where land is highly suitable for a primary use (for example food production, flood management, water catchment management and carbon storage) this value should be recognised in decision-making.


Land use decisions should be informed by an understanding of the functioning of the ecosystems which they affect in order to maintain the benefits of the ecosystem services which they provide.


Landscape change should be managed positively and sympathetically, considering the implications of change at a scale appropriate to the landscape in question, given that all Scotland’s landscapes are important to our sense of identity and to our individual and social wellbeing.


Land-use decisions should be informed by an understanding of the opportunities and threats brought about by the changing climate. Greenhouse gas emissions associated with land use should be reduced and land should continue to contribute to delivering climate change adaptation and mitigation objectives.


Where land has ceased to fulfil a useful function because it is derelict or vacant, this represents a significant loss of economic potential and amenity for the community concerned. It should be a priority to examine options for restoring all such land to economic, social or environmentally productive uses.


Outdoor recreation opportunities and public access to land should be encouraged, along with the provision of accessible green space close to where people live, given their importance for health and well-being.


People should have opportunities to contribute to debates and decisions about land use and management decisions which affect their lives and their future.


Opportunities to broaden our understanding of the links between land use and daily living should be encouraged.



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