A Scottish Labour MSP is to propose a new law to limit the number of acres that rich landowners are allowed to hold.
Mercedes Villalba, MSP for North East Scotland, will launch a public consultation on a Land Justice Bill she intends to introduce at Holyrood.
The Bill would see a cap established on land ownership in Scotland.
Under her proposed legislation, publicly-owned community trusts and co-operatives would have the option of taking over available land.
The subject of land ownership has been a controversial one throughout the country.
Last month, the Scottish Government announced a register of those who have a “controlling interest” in Scottish land will be launched in order to provide more transparency on ownership.
This should provide more information on who makes decisions about the use of the land.
Due to the ability for land to be registered to overseas entities and trusts, the existing register of land titles does not always provide such details.
A consultation will take place later this year on the potential scale of Villalba’s proposed cap on how much land an individual could legally own – with options starting from 1,500 acres.
If it can be shown that the purchase of a greater area of land would be in the public interest, it could still be authorised following public consultation and consideration by a regulator.
Crofters, allotment holders, small-scale landowners and the vast majority of farmers would be exempt from the proposals.
Villalba said: “One of the greatest symbols of inequality in Scotland is that of having such a huge concentration of land in the hands of a small number of very wealthy individuals.
“It’s indefensible that the SNP government has left this archaic arrangement untouched during its 15 years in power.
“Even now, ministers are only making vague promises about greater transparency on a public right to know who owns the land.
“This will do nothing to tackle the centuries-old entrenched inequality of land ownership in Scotland.
“It’s high time that the Scottish Parliament embraced meaningful and substantial reform by passing a Land Justice Bill,” she added.
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