Scottish Crown Estate draft strategic management plan: consultation analysis

Analysis of the responses received to the consultation on the draft Strategic Management Plan for the Scottish Crown Estate.

Section 2

Delivering the Vision


Scottish Ministers have developed a vision for the Scottish Crown Estate:

"The Scottish Crown Estate is managed sustainably, responsibly and fairly, and in a transparent and inclusive manner, to deliver financial benefits and wider and long-term social, economic and environmental benefits for Scotland and its communities".

The Plan will provide strategic direction for the management of the Estate and will also be a key reference point across the Scottish Government and beyond. It will help to ensure that decisions in relation to the management of the Scottish Crown Estate are influenced by a common vision and objectives for sustainable management, and optimising the contribution which the assets can make to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Table 6: Question 2

Do you feel that the vision in the Plan meets your expectations for the Scottish Crown Estate for the next five years?

  Fully Partially Not at all Total
Individuals 0 1 0 1
Organisations: 16 11 1 28
Local Authority 7 2 0 9
Enterprise or Coastal Management Bodies 2 3 0 5
Leisure/Tourism 2 2 1 5
Natural Heritage/Conservation 3 0 0 3
Other 0 3 0 3
Land and Estates 1 0 0 1
Other Commercial/Research 0 0 0 0
Fisheries/Seafood Bodies 0 1 0 1
Ports and Harbours 1 0 0 1
Total 16 12 1 29

Note: Question not answered by 5 respondents.

Almost all respondents felt that the vision articulated in the Plan met their expectations (either in full or partially) for the Scottish Crown Estate for the next five years (28, 97%), Table 6.

Where respondents indicated that the vision met their expectations in full, this was more likely to be expressed by local authorities, natural heritage/conservation bodies, land and estates, and ports and harbours.

Across the board, however, respondents who answered "fully" often caveated the response with commentary that economic benefit or traditional financial aspects should not have priority over the wider aspects of sustainable development (i.e. social, environmental).

Wider feedback from respondents who felt the vision met their expectations in full, included:

  • The vision sets out a positive strategic direction for developing the role of the Scottish Crown Estate, and for how assets are/should be managed.
  • Some support was expressed for the proposed alignment between the Plan and the National Performance Framework.
  • Positive feedback was provided by some around the principle of devolving responsibility for the management of assets to a local level, and that this should create opportunities for communities to be empowered to support delivery of the Plan's vision.
  • Some proposed that the Plan should take into account local considerations and place sufficient focus on sustainable development through diversification in asset management arrangements.

Where respondents indicated that the draft vision only partially met their expectations for the Scottish Crown Estate, this was more often reported by other organisations, fisheries/seafood bodies, enterprise or coastal management bodies and leisure/tourism bodies. However, there was general support among these respondents for the high-level vision, including the "commitment to deliver long term social, economic and environmental benefits for Scotland and its communities".

This support was often set within the context of the following points:

  • It was reported that there was a duty to strike a balance between economic and other benefits. Here, a few respondents felt that the Plan placed an "implicit" emphasis or priority on monetary outcomes, and that other outcomes should have equal priority. There was reported to be the potential for tension between sustainable development and economic/finanical benefit, and ways to resolve this would likely depend on the particular circumstances under consideration. As such, it was reported by a range of organisations (e.g. enterprise or coastal management bodies, local authorities, leisure/tourism, others) that the Plan could make a clearer distinction between finanical benefit and economic benefit.
  • It was considered important that the Plan clearly demonstrated, and placed sufficient emphasis on, the involvement of communities. This comment was firmly set in the context of Scottish people having a stake in the Plan due to their "ownership of the Crown Estate assets" (local enterprise or coastal management body) or that it was not clear how any decisions on the "local devolution of asset management will be incorporated into this vision" (other organisation). A wider related point was that the Plan should enable Scottish Ministers to fully empower coastal communities to retain rights over foreshore and seabed and to retain the associated income generated.
  • Wider points made reference to the term "environmental" in the vision (leisure/tourism and local authority):
    • The term "wellbeing" could be added after environmental.
    • There could be stronger reference to natural capital throughout the Plan, including the vision. It was felt that this would help to tackle climate and biodiversity emergencies.
    • The achievement of the vision could be better served with the use of natural capital as well as the monetary revenue calculation. It was felt that this could ensure no net loss of natural capital in any development or management objective.

Wider individual points raised by these respondents included a few suggestions to help strengthen the vision, for example, by incorporating reference to:

  • Accountability.
  • The seabed and fisheries management as a major potential benefit for Scotland and its communities.
  • Cross-referencing the vision (and its objectives) with the National Islands Plan.
  • The vision should be underpinned by a set of objectives, priorities and policies for the Scottish Crown Estate that includes the protection of the historic environment.
  • It was reported that achievement of the Plan's outcomes could be challenging given that Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) has no legal power to instruct social and economic benefit. It was further commented that many of the socio-economic outcomes articulated in the Plan might occur naturally (e.g. the creation of the minimum number of new jobs required to service a development, improvement of transport infrastructure to facilitate a development).
  • One respondent felt that the Plan's vision could be more ambitious in terms of its ability to secure/retain significant supply chain benefits for local communities and Scotland (i.e. to prevent leakage of benefits outwith local/national economies). It was proposed that stronger provision could be made for binding legal agreements which ties developers to a certain percentage of local content (e.g. 20% was the reported norm onshore) in construction and operations and management.

Only one respondent (leisure/tourism) reported that the vision articulated in the Plan did not meet their expectations for the Scottish Crown Estate for the next five years (3%). Their view was that vision statements were of limited use in the context of strategic planning, and that a clear sense of direction was best delivered by a clear statement of purpose.



Back to top