Letter: Owners of the land

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LETTER:

Owners of the land

Sir: Knoydart and Balthos represent further plurality of tenure which is welcomed by the Scottish Landowners' Federation and I am sure everyone will wish the enthusiasm and imaginativeness of those concerned to be rewarded by success, both in the short and longer term ("Mystery gift to Knoydart fund puts estate in settlers' hands", 3 March).

As taxpayers we all have a stake in Knoydart and it will be interesting to learn in due course the extent of the precedent now established and how the Secretary of State justifies the "last brick in the wall" where special cases are concerned.

At the same time the SLF will wish to ensure that market forces are not so compromised as to deter the entry of new private capital into Scotland, especially on account of emerging proposals now rendered even more incomprehensible given that Knoydart and Balthos were achieved without recourse to statute.

There may well be further buy-outs. In the meantime we shall be recommending landowners and local groups to seek opportunities for co-operation to their mutual benefit in line with our draft code of practice instead of looking to legislation which, it is becoming increasingly clear, is neither wanted nor needed.

ANDREW DINGWALL-FORDYCE

Convener

Scottish Landowners' Federation

Edinburgh

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