Crofting Commission withdraws appeal in MacGillivray v Crofting Commission

Crofting Commission withdraws appeal in MacGillivray v Crofting Commission

The Crofting Commission has confirmed that it has withdrawn its appeal to the Court of Session in connection with the Scottish Land Court’s decision of 18 December 2014 in the case of MacGillivray v Crofting Commission.

That case concerned the Crofting Commission’s policy on decrofting where a croft unit is held in multiple ownership.

On 14 December 2012 crofting commissioners agreed to adopt a policy that all decrofting and letting applications in respect of crofts with multiple owners, must be submitted by all the owners, in their capacity collectively as the ‘landlord’ of the croft, even in those cases where the application related to a part of the croft held in title by only one of their number.

This decision was based on legal advice obtained by the Crofting Commission but never published by them.

Commenting on this U-turn, Brian Inkster of Inksters Solicitors, said: “This is a sensible decision by the Crofting Commission and puts the position back to what it was before they decided on 14 December 2012 to interpret crofting law in a way that I do not believe was ever intended by Scottish government.

“The Land Court decision was a clear, sensible and fair one and it makes much sense for the Crofting Commission to abide by it.

“There will be a huge sense of relief amongst owner-occupiers of croft land who are not classified in law as owner-occupier crofters.

“They can now apply to decroft land that they own without requiring the consent of neighbours who happen to be owners of part of the original croft unit.

“The lack of such consent in certain instances was causing huge problems for many who have been in a state of limbo for over two years now.”

The Crofting Commission had originally found Mr & Mrs MacGillivray’s application to decroft land at 37 North Ballachulish for house building to have been incompetent, therefore, the commission could not take a decision on it.

The recent Scottish Land Court ruling found the application to be competent.

No decision has been made yet on the merits of the application which the commission will now have to reconsider.

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