Views sought on devolved £272m Crown Estate

The Scottish government has launched a 12-week consultation on the long term framework for the devolved management of the Crown Estate in Scotland.

It said devolution of the management and revenue of the Crown Estate in Scotland through the Scotland Act 2016 “provides an opportunity to increase the benefits to Scotland and local communities.”

The value of Crown Estate property in Scotland was £271.8 million in 2015-16 and gross annual revenue was £14 million.

Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said: “Control over the management and resources of the Crown Estate in Scotland should rest with the people of Scotland and this is a genuine opportunity to change the fabric of Scottish Society.

“This consultation is a once in a lifetime opportunity to help shape the future management of The Crown Estate in Scotland.

“Good management of our land, marine environment and other natural resources is essential for Scotland’s future prosperity.

“I would encourage all those interested to respond to the consultation and help us to assume our new powers in a way which creates solutions which meet Scotland’s needs and interests.”

Amanda Bryan, shadow chairing member of Crown Estate Scotland said: “From April 1 decisions about both the day to day management and the future of the estate will be taken in Scotland which is a huge step forward.

“I along with the staff of the new interim management body will seek to manage the estate responsibly, delivering benefits to our partners, tenants and communities and ensuring that it remains in good order for the next phase.”

The consultation will run until March 29 and details can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) is being established as a public corporation.

It will take on its asset management role from April 1, 2017 subject to the completion of transfer of powers at Westminster.

According to the UK Crown Estate website, the estate “belongs” to the reigning monarch “in right of The Crown” — adding that “it is owned by the monarch for the duration of their reign, by virtue of their accession to the throne.”

However, the website adds “it is not the private property of the monarch — it cannot be sold by the monarch, nor do revenues from it belong to the monarch.”

Further, the UK government “does not own The Crown Estate” — it is managed by an independent organisation established by statute — and headed by a board also known as The Crown Estate Commissioners.

The estate’s surplus revenue is paid each year to the UK Treasury for the benefit of the UK’s finances.

The Crown Estate in Scotland is responsible for:

  • Leasing of the seabed out to the 12 nautical mile limit and the rights to renewable energy and CCS (carbon capture and storage) out to the 200 nautical mile limit
  • 37,000 hectares of rural land with agricultural tenancies, residential and commercial properties, and forestry
  • Approximately half the foreshore including 5,800 installed moorings, 750 aquaculture sites and salmon fishing rights