About This Report
This report presents consultation analysis on the draft Strategic Management Plan (the Plan) for the Scottish Crown Estate. The consultation opened on 30th August 2019 and closed on 22nd November 2019.
The development of the first Plan for the Scottish Crown Estate marks an important milestone within a wider programme of work to secure devolution and reform of the management of the Scottish Crown Estate. The assets, which have a current total capital value of nearly £400 million, include rural estates, just under half of Scotland's foreshore and leasing rights for activities on the seabed out to 200 nautical miles. The assets form a core element of how Scotland can protect, use and develop its marine, coastal, rural and other assets in future.
The Smith Commission (2014) recommended that the management of Crown Estate assets in Scotland and their revenues should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. This was done through provisions in the Scotland Act 2016 on the 1st April 2017.
The Plan therefore builds on considerable work undertaken to date, including:
- Securing control of the assets for Scotland.
- Establishing Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) to manage the assets, ensuring a smooth transfer for staff, tenants and other stakeholders. Its core purpose is to invest in property, natural resources and people to generate lasting value for Scotland.
- An explicit commitment was made by Scottish Ministers to develop proposals to reform the long-term management of the Crown Estate in Scotland. The Scottish Crown Estate Bill 2018 was subsequently introduced to the Scottish Parliament in January 2018.
- The Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019 was granted Royal Assent on the 15th January 2019. It provides a new legislative framework for the management of Scottish Crown Estate assets. It provides a mechanism for the transfer or delegation of the management of individual assets to a defined range of eligible managers, including local authorities, Scottish Harbour Authorities and community organisations.
- Early conversations have been progressed around how the wider benefits for Scotland can be enhanced and how local approaches to the management of assets can be piloted.
The development of the Plan has been co-ordinated with the preparation of Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management)'s new Corporate Plan. In parallel to this consultation, Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) has consulted on a draft Corporate Plan 2020/23. That consultation closed on the 9th December 2019.
The Plan for the Scottish Crown Estate outlines a vision and a set of objectives, priorities and policies for the future management of the Estate to deliver wider and long-term social, economic and environmental benefits. It aligns to the aims of the National Performance Framework, and to Scottish Ministers' wider objectives, priorities and policies. This includes the response to the global climate emergency, the National Planning Framework, National Marine Plan, Energy Strategy, National Tourism Strategy, as well as work on land reform and enhancing community empowerment.
The Plan has been prepared in line with section 22 of the Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019, which makes provisions for what must be included in the Plan, how it must be prepared, consulted, reviewed and reported. It sets out a strategic direction to optimise the use of the assets, while protecting the Crown's interest, and how it will contribute to the successful delivery of wider Scottish Government policies to provide the best outcomes for Scotland.
The consultation sought views on the draft Plan: its vision, objectives, priorities and policies, as well as the ways in which it can be routinely monitored.
Scottish Ministers are required to lay a copy of the final Plan before the Scottish Parliament. Thereafter, it will be published, and must be reviewed not later than the end of each five year period.
Together, the Plan and Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management)'s Corporate Plan will be used to inform the development of a separate Business Plan for each financial year.
In future, any other manager of a Scottish Crown Estate asset will be required to develop an equivalent Management Plan.
The Scottish Government provided EKOS Ltd access to all responses via Citizen Space.
A number of responses were not submitted by respondents through Citizen Space (eight) and did not always follow the consultation structure (e.g. email or letter response to the Scottish Government), or answer the individual consultation questions. Where this was the case, the Scottish Government provided responses as separate documents for inclusion in the overall analysis.
The analysis took account of five late submissions, almost all had been agreed in advance with the Scottish Government.
Quantitative (closed questions) and qualitative (open-ended questions) responses were exported into Microsoft Excel for subsequent analysis. All closed questions have been presented in table format, and qualitative responses have been sorted and analysed to identify common themes.
Limitations of Consultation Analysis
The consultation attracted a relatively small number of responses, 34 in total. It attracted limited input from individuals. Further, not all respondents provided a response to all closed and/or open-ended questions. Taken together, this represents the main limitations of the consultation analysis.
The main themes presented in the following sections are therefore based on these responses, and might not be fully representative of the wider population of potentially interested parties.
Profile of Respondents
In total 34 responses were received to the consultation on the Plan for the Scottish Crown Estate, broken down by individuals and organisations in Table 2.
Table 2: Profile of Consultation Respondents
The consultation attracted responses from a diverse range of organisations, Table 3 on next page. This mainly included local authorities, enterprise or coastal management bodies, natural heritage/conservation bodies and leisure and tourism organisations. Wider feedback was also provided by land and estates, fisheries/seafood bodies, ports and harbours, commercial/research organisations, and other organisations.
Table 3: Organisation Type
|Enterprise or Coastal Management Bodies||6||19%|
|Land and Estates||2||6%|
|Ports and Harbours||1||3%|
Note: "Other" responses included an energy company, a university research team, and an association of local government officers. Percentages might not equal 100% due to rounding.
Organisations included an equal mix of local (16) and national organisations (16).
The remainder of the report has been structured in line with the consultation document:
- Section 1 considers whether the opportunities to contribute to sustainable development are appropriate for the Scottish Crown Estate.
- Section 2 presents feedback on whether the Plan's vision meets stakeholders' expectations for the Scottish Crown Estate for the next five years.
- Section 3 to Section 5 covers questions related to the Plan's objectives, priorities and policies.
- Section 6 covers reporting, monitoring and review.
- Section 7 covers impact assessments.
- Section 8 presents any other comments or suggestions on the Plan.
Wider information has been appended.