Highlands & Islands

Hial appeals against Stornoway grazings rights judgement

Ram Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Crofters successfully argued that they had a right to graze livestock on the land

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (Hial) has begun an appeal against a Scottish Land Court judgement on an area of disputed land in Lewis.

Last month, the company lost a bid to have all crofting rights to the land at Stornoway Airport extinguished.

Its lawyers argued that the land was requisitioned in World War Two to establish an RAF station.

Hial had planned to sell the area of land to a developer so that more than 80 new homes could be built.

Melbost and Branahuie grazings committees disputed the plan, arguing that their grazing rights continued because there was no evidence that compulsory purchase powers had been used to acquire the land.

The crofters also argued there had never been a ruling from the land court to de-croft the land.

In February, the land court rejected Hial's arguments and ruled that the disputed land remains in crofting tenure.

Common grazing is land shared by crofters for raising sheep and cattle.

A spokesman for Hial confirmed that the company had begun an appeal.

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