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Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016

Section 57 – Ballot to indicate approval for purposes of section 56

266.Section 57 sets out the requirements for a ballot to establish that a right to buy application by a Part 5 community body, or the third party purchaser where relevant, has the support of its community.

267.Subsection (1) provides that a proposal by a Part 5 community body to exercise a right to buy, with a third party purchaser where relevant, will be deemed to have been approved by the relevant community, if, firstly, the ballot takes place within the six-month period immediately preceding the date of the right to buy application; secondly, that at least half of the community voted in the ballot or where fewer than half of the members of the community voted, the proportion that voted is sufficient to justify the community body proceeding to purchase the land; and finally, that the majority of the votes cast were in favour of the proposal to buy the land or tenant’s interest.

268.Subsection (2) provides that the ballot must be conducted as may be set out in regulations made by the Scottish Ministers. Subsection (3) sets out matters which must be included in those regulations.

269.Subsection (4) provides that if the ballot is not conducted as specified by regulations the right to buy under the application is extinguished.

270.Subsection (5) specifies that the Part 5 community body must notify Ministers of the result within 21 days of the ballot or, where the application is made before the expiry of that 21-day period, at the same time as the application is submitted. This subsection also sets out what information about the ballot the Part 5 community body must provide to Ministers.

271.Subsection (6) provides that Ministers may require a Part 5 community body to provide further information about the ballot or any consultation that the community body may have held undertaken.

272.Subsection (7) provides that the Part 5 community body is responsible for the expense of conducting the ballot.

273.Subsection (8) provides that Scottish Ministers may set out in regulations circumstances in which the Part 5 community body may seek reimbursement for the expense of conducting a ballot from the Scottish Ministers.

274.Subsection (9) provides that Ministers may set out in regulations details about the circumstances, method, criteria and procedure for reimbursement of expenses for conducting a ballot. In particular subsection (9)(d) to (f) provides that regulations may make provision regarding the procedure to be followed when appealing a decision made by the Scottish Ministers in respect of the expenses of conducting the ballot, the persons who may consider an appeal and the powers of such persons.

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