SCOTLAND’S LANDOWNERS

SCOTLAND’S LANDOWNERS

Scotland’s landowners came in stealth, bought up as much land as they could and in some cases remain unknown shielded by out of date laws perpetrated by legal representatives and getting all the benefits of owning land in Scotland.

An example is four Edinburgh lawyers fronting for an unknown owner or owners – why? what have they got to hide? isn’t it time we in Scotland knew exactly who owns these lands, after all other Countries insist on their lands belonging to their own people. We can only hope the Scottish Government takes a second and perhaps a third look at this odd situation.

Below you can read about some of the injustice going on right now in Scotland, these are taken from the U.K. governments pdf which highlights just some of the reasons and anomalies going on in Scotland’s land.

Most of the land here is owned by exceedingly wealthy people. Some of them are millionaires
from elsewhere: sheikhs, oligarchs and mining magnates who own vast estates in this country.
Although they might pay no taxes in the UK, they receive millions in farm subsidies. They are
the world’s most successful benefit tourists.
George Monbiot, The Guardian, 2 July 2013.
***
Rental payments vary and are top secret … [But] based on estimates the Duke of Roxburghe
could net around £1.5 million a year from his 48 120-metre-high turbines at Fallago Rig in the
beautiful Lammermuir Hills. Sir Alastair Gordon-Cumming could be earning around £435,000
annually from 29 giant turbines on his Altyre Estate near Forres in Moray. The Earl of Seafield
could get £120,000 a year from eight turbines on his estate near Banff. The Earl of Moray is
estimated to receive £2 million a year from 49 turbines at Braes O’Doune near Stirling … What
we are witnessing is … a dramatic transfer of money from the poor to the rich.
Struan Stevenson, So Much Wind, (Birlinn), Edinburgh, 2013, pp 43-46.
***
At first glance, Buccleuch Estates Ltd appears to be a conventional limited company with
directors and shareholders. In fact, it is the ultimate parent company for a string of other
companies including Buccleuch Properties Ltd which holds property worth £88 million …
Buccleuch Properties Ltd is, in turn, the parent company of companies such as Buccleuch
Property (Kettering) Ltd, Tarras Park Properties (Germany) Ltd, Buccleuch Property (Moscow) Ltd
and a slew of joint ventures in Cyprus, Luxembourg, Russia, Germany, Ireland and the UK.
This global empire is all ultimately owned by Buccleuch Estates Ltd. So who owns Buccleuch
Estates Ltd? The answer is that it is wholly owned by a nominee company, Anderson Strathern
Nominees Ltd, a company whose total paid-up share value is £4, whose shareholders are four
Edinburgh lawyers and whose total assets amount to £4. The company has been dormant since
its incorporation in May 1992 and it owns 100 per cent of Buccleuch Estates Ltd, a company
with total assets of £275 million and a turnover of £64 million in 2008.
The purpose of Anderson Strathern Nominees Ltd is thus merely to hold the shares of Buccleuch
Estates Ltd on behalf of others. Who those others are remains a mystery.
Andy Wightman, The Poor Had No Lawyers: Who Owns Scotland and How They Got It, (Birlinn
Ltd), Edinburgh, 2010, p 272.
***
A billionaire Danish fashion magnate has become the second-largest private landowner in
Britain with the purchase of the 20,000 acre Glaick Estate in Inverness-shire. Anders Holch
Povlsen purchased the land and associated properties from Xavier-Louis Vuitton, heir to the
French fashion label.
The latest acquisition by Mr Povlsen, who already owns the Glenfeshie, Ben Loyal and Kinloch
Estates, has increased the 43-year old’s land portfolio in Scotland to around 150,000 acres. It is
second only to that of the Buccleuch Estates … Mr Povlsen, whose family owns Bestseller, the
Danish fashion company that last year had a turnover of £2 billion …has been criticised in some
quarters for mounting a ‘land grab’ of Scotland to take advantage of farming subsidies, though
others claim he is motivated by a desire to protect wild land.
The Herald, 21 January 2013.
Danish billionaire Anders Holsch Povlsen has been putting together a collection of Highland
estates like a set of Lego bricks … What is going on? … The answer is – money. While we
conventional homeowners have been looking on in horror as our house prices plummet, it
seems that people who have put their faith in mud and grass, rather than bricks and mortar,
have been reaping a rich financial harvest …It’s not just the value of the land that brings in the
buyers either; it’s the fact that you can pass it on to your family without HM Revenue wanting a
slice …
So let’s get this right. Not only are you buying a commodity that increases in value [on average]
by £44 per acre per month, but you can hand it down tax-free to your children and
grandchildren. Wait, though, it gets better; on top of all that, the European Union will give you
money.
It’s called the Common Agricultural Policy direct payment, and although we don’t know what
each UK farmer gets (the European Court of Justice has declared it illegal to publish how much
is given to individuals), we do know that the National Trust [in England and Wales] got £2.6
million last year for its farmland …
Daily Telegraph, Property Section, 13 May 2012

A full and comprehensive pdf file can be downloaded and read from;

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/scottish-affairs/432-Land-Reform-Paper.pdf