Publication - Consultation analysis

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.

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91 page PDF

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Contents
Scottish Crown Estate draft strategic management plan: consultation analysis
Section 5

91 page PDF

827.4 kB

Section 5

Objectives, Priorities and Policies

Theme 3: Revenue, Management of Liabilities and Other Issues

Context

Theme 3 covers revenue, management of liabilities and other issues. The following eight objectives, priorities and policies have been articulated for theme 3, with further detail on each presented in the consultation document:

15. Net revenue will be used for the benefit of Scotland and communities with appropriate arrangements to co-ordinate funding for programmes and projects that cannot be undertaken by a single community or council.

16. The net revenue from marine assets out to 12 nautical miles should demonstrably benefit coastal communities and all arrangements for the use of net revenue should be transparent and accountable with opportunities for communities to express views on how the revenue is used.

17. The Scottish Government will work with COSLA to complete a review of the future arrangements for net revenue from marine assets out to 12 nautical miles. The review will take account of the management requirements of the estate, how future revenue can be increased through strategic funding, the potential for other communities of interest to be managers and the case for these organisations to directly benefit from the net revenue.

18. Local organisations interested in management of a Scottish Crown Estate asset, should consider how they could take on the function and liabilities for the longer term and manage the asset in a way that delivers added value, transparency and efficiency and which is compatible with their core remit.

19. Scottish Ministers have a preference for shared services approaches to administration of the assets in order to maximise efficiency and hence net revenue available to Scotland and local communities.

20. An organisation that wishes to take on direct management will normally be expected to manage the associated liabilities, including those arising from their decisions on the management, and cover the associated costs from the income generated from the asset.

21. Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) staff rights will be respected and protected in the reform of the management of the Scottish Crown Estate and they will have opportunities to contribute their views.

22. Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) will assist Scottish Ministers in implementing the Plan and will develop new roles in contributing to the co-ordination of the management of the wider Scottish Crown Estate, facilitating delivery of the Plan and realisation of potential benefits, including piloting new partnership working models and potentially including joint ventures.

Table 9: Question 5

Do you believe that the objectives, priorities and policies contained in theme 3 will allow us to achieve our vision for the future management of the Scottish Crown Estate?

Yes No Total
Individuals 1 0 1
Organisations: 20 3 23
Local Authority 7 2 9
Enterprise or Coastal Management Bodies 5 0 5
Leisure/Tourism 3 1 4
Natural Heritage/Conservation 0 0 0
Other 2 0 2
Land and Estates 1 0 1
Other Commercial/Research 0 0 0
Fisheries/Seafood Bodies 1 0 1
Ports and Harbours 1 0 1
Total 21 3 24

Note: Question not answered by 10 respondents.

The vast majority of respondents believed that the objectives, priorities and policies contained in theme 3 would allow achievement of the vision for the future management of the Scottish Crown Estate (21, 88%). Strong support was expressed by local authorities, enterprise and coastal management bodies, leisure and tourism bodies, and others (e.g. ports and harbours, land and estates, fisheries/seafood bodies).

The most commonly provided feedback from these respondents has been summarised below:

  • Some enterprise or coastal management bodies (as well as local authority and natural heritage/conservation organisations[4]) noted their support for the proposal to ensure that all of the net revenue from the estate should be used for the benefit of Scotland, in particular coastal communities (i.e. coastal communities should benefit from net revenue from marine assets out to 12 nautical miles). Additional funding for coastal communities was therefore welcomed.
  • Enterprise or coastal management bodies commented that the approach outlined in the consultation document would help coastal communities to feel "increased ownership" over the adjacent inshore area. Here, accountability and transparency in decision-making processes were said to be important and would help ensure that coastal communities benefitted. Another respondent also mentioned the importance of fair, reasonable and transparent management cost deductions.
  • Aligned to earlier comments, the importance of having appropriate processes and mechanisms in place to ensure that the management of Scottish Crown Estate assets did not become "fragmented" or "un-coordinated" at a local/regional level was emphasised, including by some local authorities. It was felt that mitigating this from happening would help support delivery of the Plan's vision.
  • A few local authority respondents specifically welcomed the distribution of net revenues to local authorities, and mentioned that undertaking a review of future allocations with COSLA would be important. Here, wider comments highlighted the importance of partnership working between local authorities and the Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) to "avoid duplication and fragmentation". The importance of "taking full cognisance of the views of the communities it is benefiting" was also mentioned.

Few respondents believed that the objectives, priorities and policies contained in theme 3 would not support achievement of the vision for the future management of the Scottish Crown Estate (three, 12%).

The following points were raised:

  • A few local authorities noted concern with the proposed formula for the distribution of net revenue to coastal local authorities. The feedback noted the following:

"The Scottish Ministers' commitment to distributing net revenue to all coastal Local Authorities fails those communities who have to suffer the disbenefit of marine development and now receive the same recompense as a community with no marine developments. The distribution formula should be re-set on the basis of marine activity…COSLA's interim protocol should be refined to distribute revenue on the basis of level of activity as more data on marine activity becomes available".

Local Organisation – Local Authority

"Whilst we are supportive of the commitment to distribute the net revenue generated to local authorities for community benefit we do note as stipulated the City would not qualify for funding on this basis. We would note that Glasgow and immediately adjacent authorities should qualify particularly as the forecast in sea level rise will have a significant impact on our communities and that cross authority action is required in both mitigating these effect and in exploiting opportunities sustainably. Indeed this could support further on in the report where it is noted that 'We see value in exploring with local authorities the potential for regional or national co-ordination to co-ordinate funding for programmes and projects that cannot be undertaken by a single community or council. This could enable revenue from the assets to be deployed to funding strategic investment, for example, to support established and new marine and coastal industries to sustain and deliver community benefit in the coming years and ensure that we can maintain and enhance wider benefits from the assets."

Local Organisation – Local Authority

"Net revenue being dispersed on a pro rata share of the coastline is not considered an appropriate way to allocate funding. Funding should consider key criteria around need/ demand/ impact and outcome. A competitive challenge fund would be supported which would be better in ensuring funds achieve best value and are directed on a need's basis. This may also avoid any duplication of LA's trying to establish their own allocation procedure.

Consideration should be also given to the impact of any income generating development on communities they have the most impact on. It should also consider the level of population affected, intensity of use and any requirements for mitigation there may be in that area.

For example, the income generated form a large-scale development should be used to mitigate any effect of that development on surrounding communities.

Local Organisation – Local Authority

  • A local authority respondent commented that if local managers are to take on liability for managed assets, the costs associated with these liabilities should be met from Crown Estate Scotland funds. This would be with a view to ensuring that it does not "eat into local benefit".
  • Another local authority respondent felt that the proposal to explore the potential for regional or national co-ordination in relation to funding for programmes that cannot be undertaken by a single community or council was not required (or that there would need to be a business case to support this approach). They mentioned that local authorities currently work together (e.g Growth Deals), and were well placed to ensure the revenue allocation was invested effectively to support coastal communities where the revenue was generated.
  • A local authority respondent commented on the preference for shared services. Here, it was noted that there might be efficiency savings to be derived from other management arrangements, and in particular as management of the estate changes over time. The respondent said that it would expect Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) to reduce its overheads in response to this to ensure that efficiency and best value was achieved.

All respondents (i.e. those that answered "Yes" or "No" to Question 5 or left it blank) provided more specific comments on the eight theme 3 objectives and/or the associated narrative within the consultation document. The diverse range of comments are captured in Appendix C, and most were typically mentioned by individual respondents.

Table 10: Question 6

Do you feel the objectives, priorities and policies will deliver success to the Scottish Crown Estate?

Yes No Total
Individuals 1 0 1
Organisations: 19 3 22
Local Authority 7 1 8
Enterprise or Coastal Management Bodies 4 1 5
Leisure/Tourism 3 1 4
Natural Heritage/Conservation 0 0 0
Other 2 0 2
Land and Estates 1 0 1
Other Commercial/Research 0 0 0
Fisheries/Seafood Bodies 1 0 1
Ports and Harbours 1 0 1
Total 20 3 23

Note: Question not answered by 11 respondents.

Some 87% of respondents felt that the objectives, priorities and policies would deliver success to the Scottish Crown Estate. As before, strong support was expressed by most organisation sub-groups.

A diverse range of comments were provided by these respondents, however, only a couple of common themes emerged:

  • A few respondents said that "success" would need to be clearly articulated and defined in the final Plan before an informed view could be provided to this question. And that any definition of what success looks like should ensure due consideration of socio-economic benefit and environmental wellbeing.
  • That being said, many respondents mentioned that success would likely be achieved, if[5]:
    • There was inbuilt flexibility to review and adapt objectives, priorities and policies in order to meet future challenges.
    • Policy was tailored to ensure that enhancing productivity, business resilience and environmental benefit remained key priorities. This would help to support the resilience and growth of rural economies.
    • There was strong commitment and recognition of communities as key stakeholders in coastal developments. It was recognised that this would take time and capacity building support, and that expectations placed on communities should be realistic.
    • Investment support was provided for the core costs of ambitious community organisations to help unlock valuable but latent potential of small island communities to shape their own long-term sustainability.
    • A legal basis for socio-economic benefit was pursued.
    • Local control over decision-making was implemented as articulated in the consultation document.
    • Revenues were returned on the basis of marine activity and there was sharing of management resource. Otherwise it was felt that current economies of scale in terms of management might be lost.
    • Due consideration was given to terms such as shared services and management of liabilities to make up for any loss in economies of scale.
    • Success would depend on the future relationship between Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) and other managers, and the transparency of money transfer from the Scottish Consolidated Fund (SCF) to local coastal communities.

Only three respondents felt that that the objectives, priorities and policies would not deliver success to the Scottish Crown Estate. No real themes emerged, however, feedback did highlight that success should only be measured by socio-economic benefit derived and not "corporate" criteria/measures.

Table 11: Question 7

Do you feel there are other opportunities for revenue generation that have not been identified in the draft Plan?

  Yes No Total
Individuals 1 0 1
Organisations: 8 14 22
Local Authority 3 6 9
Enterprise or Coastal Management Bodies 2 3 5
Leisure/Tourism 1 2 3
Natural Heritage/Conservation 0 0 0
Other 0 2 2
Land and Estates 1 0 1
Other Commercial/Research 0 0 0
Fisheries/Seafood Bodies 1 0 1
Ports and Harbours 0 1 1
Total 9 14 23

Note: Question not answered by 11 respondents.

There was a mixed response to this question, with slightly more respondents stating "No" (13, 61%). The remainder of respondents felt that there were other opportunities for revenue generation that had not been identified in the Plan (nine, 39%).

The following provides a list of other opportunities that were mentioned by individual respondents[6]:

  • Consideration could be given to expanding and restoring previously sequestered maritime boundaries, and exploiting the maritime inheritance.
  • Payments for delivering public good (e.g. in farming practice) and carbon trading could be considered.
  • Supporting opportunities to improve the resilience, efficiency and productivity of rural estates. Examples provided include: a focus on soil health and management; increased knowledge exchange, including discussion groups and monitor farms; Resource Use Audits to enable businesses to identify areas for improvement; Animal Health Plans to improve disease management; Integrated Crop Management; skills training; and investment in applied research, including farmer led field scale trials.
  • There was considered to be scope to more closely link the Scottish Crown Estate to developments associated with Growth Deals and the wider development of the "blue economy" around Scotland's coastline and tourism initiatives such as the Coig.
  • There could be a future opportunity linked to the seaweed industry which might present opportunities related to science, best practice, etc.
  • There was considered to be the potential for community benefit (as opposed to net revenue) to be more fully explored (e.g. where a large windfarm is located off a coast).
  • Carbon offset projects.
  • There was also considered to be more opportunities to empower island and coastal communities to acquire, manage and harness benefit and revenue from their natural marine assets. It was reported that this could only be realised if decision-making was decentralised, and where the "voices of small local communities are properly heard and influential".
  • Expansion of existing work on terrestrial natural capital valuation to valuing the Scottish Crown Estate's marine and coastal assets.
  • Possible use of dredge spoil.
  • Consideration could be given to local and regional energy strategies and what part the estate can play in the delivery of these strategies.

Table 12: Question 8

Do you feel the objectives, priorities and policies will impact you positively, negatively or have no impact on you as an individual or as part of an organisation?

  Positively Negatively Not at all Total
Individuals 1 0 0 1
Organisations: 15 4 3 22
Local Authority 6 1 1 8
Enterprise or Coastal Management Bodies 4 0 0 4
Leisure/Tourism 3 1 0 4
Natural Heritage/Conservation 1 0 0 1
Other 0 1 1 2
Land and Estates 0 0 1 1
Other Commercial/Research 0 0 0 0
Fisheries/Seafood Bodies 0 1 0 1
Ports and Harbours 1 0 0 1
Total 16 4 3 23

Note: Question not answered by 11 respondents.

Over two-thirds of respondents felt that the objectives, priorities and policies would impact them individually or their organisation positively (16, 70%).

Where comments were provided, most were individual points.

However, a few respondents highlighted that there was the potential to generate considerable income to meaningfully engage and empower local communities, and to support community projects and programmes. This was said to be key to generating a positive impact. A few went on to add that this could result in a range of positive impacts for communities such as:

  • Increased influence.
  • Increased sense of local ownership.
  • Keeping coastal areas clean.
  • A greater appreciation of the natural environment.
  • A greater emphasis on how assets can reduce environmental pollution, enhance biodiversity and build resilience to climate change.
  • More sustainable management and use of Scottish Crown Estate assets.

Other individual comments raised by these respondents include:

  • It was reported that the Plan could provide opportunities for greater levels of collaboration and co-operation at a local and regional level. It was felt that this could have the wider benefit of ensuring the management of the Scottish Crown Estate is strongly aligned with other local assets to maximise benefit for local communities.
  • A respondent mentioned that a positive impact would only be achieved if the Plan articulated sustainability and environmental and social wellbeing as core targets, and that these factors were assigned appropriate weighting in decision-making processes.

Almost one-fifth of respondents felt that the objectives, priorities and policies would have a negative impact on them as individuals or organisations (four, 17%). Where comments were provided, most were individual points:

  • A concern was raised by a local authority that Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) has no legal power to instruct socio-economic benefit, but at the same time is requesting those managing assets to maximise such benefits.
  • The same local authority further reported that benefits might not be retained within local communities, and that a loss of local control in decision-making would risk disillusionment with the process. This is reflected in the following quote:

"Island communities are very sensitive to the historic leakage of all Crown Estate revenues out of the local community. Return of revenues on a generic formula is better than nothing but island communities will continue to agitate for return of revenues commensurate with the level of marine activity they have to support and endure.…. There is no reason, in terms of Crown Estate Scotland accountability, why the Act's aspirations for local decision making cannot sit alongside a Crown Estate Scotland Due Diligence check".

Local Organisation – Local Authority

  • A local authority raised a point around the potential administrative burden that could be placed on communities, and that this risks disengagement with the process. Here, it was mentioned that some communities might lack the necessary skills and capacity to develop the range of key documents and information required as a result of the transfer/delegation of ownership of an asset(s). It was suggested that there could be a more supportive approach adopted to help communities overcome these challenges. Linked to this, was a more general point about the importance of meaningful community empowerment in deriving positive impacts within communities.
  • A fisheries/seafood body was concerned about the lack of explicit reference to the protection of the rights to fishing and navigation. They mentioned that the use of the marine environment may be unnecessarily restricted in the future, and that there should be greater acknowledgement of the importance of the activities of the fishing fleet in socio-economic and cultural heritage terms.
  • An "other" organisation said that the Plan did not take account of the impact of the management of the Scottish Crown Estate assets on the historic environment. It was further noted that consideration of the historic environment should be embedded throughout the Plan to help ensure "best practice in management of this unique and finite resource could be achieved".

Wider feedback from a couple of respondents who did not answer the closed question or reported "not at all" related to funding allocations and levels, as reflected in the quote below.

"…from a business perspective it would be good to know the split of any revenue paid remains within the SCF and what will ultimately end up supporting local coastal communities. There are still concerns that engagement will take place at multiple levels given the ongoing requirement for a centralised support function to avoid duplication of effort".

National Organisation - Other

Table 13: Question 9

Do you feel the objectives, priorities and policies align and take account of wider Scottish Government objectives?

  Yes Partially No Total
Individuals 0 1 0 1
Organisations: 16 8 0 24
Local Authority 7 2 0 9
Enterprise or Coastal Management Bodies 4 1 0 5
Leisure/Tourism 3 1 0 4
Natural Heritage/Conservation 0 0 0 0
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 9 0 25

Note: Question not answered by 9 respondents.

All respondents felt that the objectives, priorities and policies aligned and took account of wider Scottish Government objectives either in full or partially.

Among those respondents who answered "Yes" to this question (16, 64%), much of the feedback:

  • Acknowledged support for the Plan's aims and its aspiration to more fully involve communities in the management of individual assets.
  • Confirmed that the Plan had taken account of key strategies, policies and priorities. Where specific references were made, respondents mentioned the National Performance Framework and Government prioritites such as sustainable development and inclusive economic growth.
  • That being said, a few of these respondents called for closer links to be made between the Plan and wider strategies and plans, namely the Land Use Strategy, Growth Deals, National Planning Framework, Local Development Plans, and emerging Regional Spatial Strategies.

Among those respondents who answered "partially" to this question (nine, 36%), most of the feedback made reference to scope for clearer consideration of, and alignment with, wider plans and strategies.

Where reference was made to particular strategies and priorities, this included: National Islands Plan, Island Community Impact Assessments, National Marine Plan, Climate Change Plan, Climate Change Adaptation Plan/Programme, and priorities related to the historic environment. This is reflected in a respondent quote below:

"The Marine Estate is absolutely central to the decarbonisation of the UK and more should be made in the Plan of the Crown Estate's potential to unlock vast amounts of Marine Energy while delivering unprecedented levels of socioeconomic benefit to some of the most fragile communities in the UK".

Local Organisation – Local Authority

A couple of wider comments were made by individual respondents:

  • An enterprise or coastal management body felt that greater and more proactive community consultation would have aligned the objectives, priorities and policies to the Scottish Government objectives to empower island communities.
  • A local authority felt that there could be clearer accountability for managers to contribute to all aspects of sustainable development (i.e. not just revenue generation).
  • An "other" organisation felt that the robustness of direction given to asset managers would be key, as well as the flexibility of agreements to take into account future policy direction at a local and national level.

Contact

Email: scottishcrownestate.consultation@gov.scot