In November 2020 the Crofting Commission granted an application to decroft multiple (two) building plot sites at 3 Fiscavaig in spite of the fact that the existing crofters were in breach of Crofting Commission rules. In correspondence with Kate Forbes about this matter, Mairi Gougeon cited a response from the Crofting Commission as follows: The Crofting Commission is aware of the concern expressed regarding multiple decroftings on a croft but must make decisions that are consistent with the legislation and previous decisions of the Scottish Land Court regarding decrofting applications. In short the Crofting Commission is required to balance the interests of the applicant with the interests of the croft, the crofting community and the public interest. If the Commission finds on the evidence that any particular decrofting application will have a materially adverse impact on the croft or the crofting community, it will consider refusing the application. Request in three parts: 1. As the response to Mairi Gougeon explicitly states that there was “evidence” which was considered in the balancing of the various interest, I request that you provide me with all of the information which constituted this “evidence”. 2. Please provide me with all of the information which establishes the decision making process as to how the various conflicting interests are to be reconciled. 3. Please provide all of the information relating to the decision in this particular case.
I note that you have requested all of the information which constituted the evidence which was taken into account in the Commission’s consideration of the applications by Mrs Sandra J L Kernohan, for decrofting directions in respect of 3 Fiscavaig, extending respectively to 0.155 hectares (case no. 104955) and 0.150 hectares (case no.104956). I note further that you have requested all of the information which establishes the decision making process as to how the various conflicting interests are to be reconciled, and all of the information relating to the decision in these particular cases. We do endeavour to provide information whenever possible. However, in this instance an exemption under the Act applies to some of the information requested. The exemption under section 38(1)(b) of the Act applies to the personal data of a third party. In respect of information on the applications, please see enclosed copies of: • The Covering letters and Application Forms; • Planning consents for the dwelling house; • Correspondence between the Commission and SGRPID (who are the owners of the remainder of the croft tenanted by Mrs Kernohan). Based on this information, the factors that were taken into account by the Commission included: • Both applications were for dwelling houses, and “the building of dwellings” is listed as a reasonable purpose at section 20(3)(a) of the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 (“1993 Act”). • Each of the applications for dwelling houses was supported by planning consents from the local authority. • Each of the applications for dwelling houses extending to 0.150 hectares and 0.155 hectares respectively were within the Commission guideline of 0.20 hectares as being appropriate for the reasonable enjoyment of a dwelling house as a residence. • The Commission’s understanding is that there were no agricultural buildings within either of the sites applied for. • The Commission’s understanding is that there were no concerns relating to access to any croft or common grazing land in relation to either of these applications. • No objectives were received from the landlord following the public notification of the advance of purchase application to decrofted the dwelling house extending to 0.150 hectares (case no.104956). • No objections were received from members of the crofting community to any of the applications following the public notification of the applications. • No expressions of demand had been expressed for the tenancy of the croft following the public notification of the applications. In terms of information on the Commission’s decision making process, I attach copies of the Commission’s Scheme of Delegation and a copy of the delegation parameters in relation to part croft decrofting applications.