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Crofter Housing

Volume 171: debated on Friday 27 April 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on assistance to crofter housing.

With effect from 16 May 1990 the maximum rates of assistance available under the crofters building grants and loans scheme (CBGLS) will be increased as indicated in the table.Each case will be taken on its merits; but applications will be considered in two sets of circumstances. These are:(a) where a crofter has acquired a house or house site pertaining to the croft and the tenancy of the remainder of the croft has passed by assignation or otherwise to a member of the crofter's family, or, where the former crofter was aged or infirm, to any named individual who requires a house to enable him to cultivate the croft;(b) where the croft could not be satisfactorily cultivated without the provision of a new house and it would benefit the township if a new house were provided to enable the crofter to reside on the croft.Assistance will not generally be provided where the detached house might reasonably have been made available to the incoming crofter, where the crofter is already adequately housed within reasonable working distance of the croft, and where the price paid for an assignation and any associated permanent improvements or other circumstances suggest that the main object of an assignation is to make an incoming crofter eligible for assistance under the scheme. Where a house has been provided with grant assistance, assistance for a new house pertaining to the same croft will not be made available for 20 years unless the Secretary of State considers that there are special circumstances which would justify it.