Surveyors slam reform bill

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has labelled Scotland’s Land Reform Bill “subjective and inconclusive”, and called for a full-scale impact assessment before proceeding any further. The RICS said tight timescales meant insufficient Parliamentary scrutiny and consideration will be given to the Bill, and said a balance needed to be struck “between the land reform process and the establishment of stable, consistent legislative and economic conditions.” Sarah Speirs, RICS’s Scotland director, said: “Whilst RICS welcomes a Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement (LRRS), as it will provide an indication of legislative travel, we do not agree that it should be a statutory requirement to be updated every five years, as currently specified.

“Regular and changeable legislative modifications do not create favorable conditions for property and land markets. Indeed, these markets require consistency to reach the necessary degree of stability to create confidence. RICS highlighted the fact that the Scottish Government has not yet indicated whether the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) will endure beyond until 2016/17, the proposed date where business rates exemptions will cease. It said research into how many estates will, and how many will not, benefit from rates relief needs to be undertaken before this provision is taken forward.

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