Common Good Property

It is a requirement of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 for the Council to establish and maintain, following public consultation, a register of Common Good Property. 

View the draft register of Common Good Property

Please note that the register is currently limited to the money held in the common good funds for Dalkeith and Penicuik. For financial year 2020/2021, this amounts to £7,000 and £2,000 respectively.

If you would like to make a representation for an asset to be considered for the register, please email us detailing the asset and any supplementary information available:

The consultation is open until 31 March 2022. We will update this page as we receive representations.

What is Common Good Property?

The Council may own property that has Common Good status.  This includes land, buildings and cash. Property has Common Good status if it had been bought by or gifted to a former Burgh. There are laws that restrict how they can be used or sold.

Midlothian Council is successor authority to four former Burghs, namely:

Property can be Common Good if the asset was gifted to or acquired by any of the Burghs on or before 15 May 1975, and if it meets other criteria:

  • It has been used by the general public for a long time.
  • It was dedicated for a specific public purpose.
  • Title conditions ensuring public use were agreed in the original charter.

However, if a property has been acquired using statutory powers or is held on a trust, it will not be considered to be common good. Most property owned by the council has been acquired using statutory powers. There is no statutory definition of common good, and it can be difficult to determine what property is common good.

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 places new duties on the Council in relation to common good property:

  • Section 102 of the Act places a duty on the council to establish and maintain, after consultation, a register of property which is held by it as part of the common good.
  • Section 104 imposes the requirement for public consultation before the disposal or change of use of a common good property.

Statutory guidance published by the Scottish Government sets out the procedure for establishing the register, and for subsequent consultations on the use or disposal of common good land.

Responding to representations

We will publish all comments, in line with our data protection policy. We will also publish our response to the comments. We will aim to respond to the comment within 12 weeks.

We will aim to publish the final version of our Register by the end of September 2022.

If we receive a large number of comments, it may take longer to investigate them. In this case we will publish the Register with a note to explain that we are carrying out research in response to representations.

The register may change over time, where further research identifies other property we consider to be common good, or if property is determined by a court to be common good. We may remove property from the list if it no longer considered to be common good.