Common Good Property

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

The consultation on the register ended on 31 March 2022 and there were no representations. The final register can be viewed below.

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.