In order to give people a better understanding of the process and timescales involved for dealing with regulatory applications, the Crofting Commission have added information to their website www.crofting.scotland.gov.uk/forms-and-guidance
This explains the timescales involved for a straightforward case and why some cases which initially seem straightforward can become complex requiring more investigation and thus increasing the processing timescales.
"We should stress these timescales and processes are dependant on the croft being registered with Registers of Scotland (RoS). If the croft is notregistered with RoS, this will add a considerable time to the process and in some cases we cannot start the application process until the registration is completed," they say.
Rod Mackenzie, Convener of the Crofting Commission, said, “As a board over the last 18 months we have delegated decision making of some of the more straightforward cases to the regulatory staff within agreed parameters.
"This system of delegated decision making works well only when the application is properly presented and doesn’t exceed the agreed parameters. I urge anyone who is in doubt about what they want to do and how they make a regulatory application to browse the Crofting Commission website where there are guidance leaflets and the appropriate forms along with details of the parameters for straightforward cases. If your application is not within these parameters then it will be escalated and take longer to process."
"For example if you are wanting to assign your croft you will find the list of parameters for Assignation on the website page along with the assignation application forms and guidance. If your application fits all the necessary parameters, and providing there are no objections during the 28 day public consultation period the application can be dealt with under Tier 1 as a straightforward case and you should have our decision in approximately 16 weeks.
"However, if the application does not meet the necessary parameters and further investigation is required, for example a report from Rural Payments & Inspections Directorate, or if the croft is not registered with RoS, this can add a lot of time to the overall process.
"We’ve had a lot of criticism over the time we take to process applications, and we fully appreciate that it can be frustrating for folk but hopefully having a better understanding of what we are required to do by law will help.”