Enlargement of crofts and common grazings
Section 46: Enlargement of crofts
121.Section 46 substitutes a new section 4 for that currently in the 1993 Act. Presently, the 1993 Act allows for the enlargement of a croft upon agreement between the crofter and the landlord and it is only where this enlargement would result in the croft area exceeding 30 hectares that a joint application from the landlord and the crofter must be submitted to the Commission for approval. As the intention is for the Crofting Register to capture any significant change in the extent of, or interests in, a croft, the new section 4 requires the Commission to approve any enlargement of a croft (regardless of the resulting size of the croft) and this in turn will require a first registration or amendment to the Crofting Register. Subsection (3) prevents the Commission from granting a regulatory application to enlarge an unregistered croft unless an application to register the croft is made within 6 months of the regulatory application being made. It also allows the Commission not to consider a regulatory application during the 6 month period until an application for first registration is made. Subsection (4) of new section 4 allows the Commission to make a direction for the enlargement of a croft provided that the resulting enlargement would be of benefit to the croft or the crofter and would not result in the area substantially exceeding 30 hectares. Subsection (5) provides that a direction enlarging an unregistered croft, or a croft which has been registered as a result of the application for enlargement, takes effect on either the date of the direction or the date of entry under the tenancy of the enlarged area, whichever is later. Subsection (6) requires a registration application to be submitted within 3 months of the Commission’s direction where it relates to a registered croft, otherwise the direction expires. It also provides that an enlargement of a registered croft only takes effect when registered.
Section 47: Enlargement of common grazings
122.Section 47 provides a replacement section 51 in the 1993 Act to align procedures for the enlargement of common grazings with those for the enlargement of crofts. Subsection (1) provides that this section applies when an owner provides non-croft land to form part of a common grazing. Subsection (2) allows the owner and crofters to apply jointly to the Commission for a direction for the land to form part of the common grazing. Subsection (3) requires the Commission, in approving the enlargement application, to be satisfied that the enlargement would benefit the common grazing or the crofters sharing in it. Subsection (4) provides that, where the common grazing is unregistered, the enlargement is effective from the date of the direction or the date on which the rights are first exercisable. Subsection (5) provides that the enlargement of a registered common grazing cannot take effect unless an application to register the enlargement is submitted within 3 months of the direction being made and only takes effect on the date of registration.