Farmers given right to buy tenancies in Crown Estate pilot

Farmers given right to buy tenancies in Crown Estate pilot

Crown Estate Scotland is offering two tenant farmers the opportunity to buy their farms.

Tenants on Auchindoun Estate in Moray and Applegirth Estate in Dumfriesshire are being made the offer as part of a pilot which may be extended.

They are being asked to express an interest in four options. These are: buying the farm at an agreed price; relinquishing their tenancy for value as detailed in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016; a joint sale of the farm to a third party; or maintaining the status quo.

The Scottish Tenant Farmers Association (STFA) welcomed the pilot.

STFA chairman, Christopher Nicholson, said: “In general, tenants are enthusiastic about the proposed farm sales and the opportunities they are to be offered.

“Some have expressed concerns about the future of a fragmented rural estate following farm sales, especially if the majority of remaining tenants are nonsecure tenants with fixed-term leases. With the obvious pressures from forestry, fixed-term tenants are concerned about their future when the time comes to negotiate new leases to continue farming their holdings.

“However, reassurances have been given to tenants that CES will continue to act as a responsible landlord fulfilling its statutory and traditional obligations to its tenants whatever the type of lease.”

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