Scottish Crown Estate draft strategic management plan: consultation

Draft strategic management plan for the Scottish Crown Estate for consultation as required by The Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019.


1. Scotland's first Strategic Management Plan (the Plan) for the Scottish Crown Estate will contribute directly to the aims of the National Performance Framework (NPF)[1]and the Scottish Government's purpose:

"To focus on creating a more successful country with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish through increased wellbeing, and sustainable and inclusive economic growth."

Image 1: National Performance Framework

Image 1: National Performance Framework

2. The scope of this Plan covers the Scottish Crown Estate assets. These include ancient rights and more recently acquired land and property which are owned by the Crown. The Plan has been prepared in line with the requirements of section 22 (see Annex D) of the Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019 (the Act).

3. The Scottish Crown Estate currently has a total capital value of £385.8 million and includes:

  • 37,000 hectares of rural land with agricultural tenancies, residential and commercial properties and forestry on four rural estates (Glenlivet, Fochabers, Applegirth and Whitehill);
  • Rights to fish wild salmon and sea trout in river and coastal areas;
  • Rights to naturally occurring gold and silver across most of Scotland;
  • Extensive coastal rights including just under half the foreshore, 5,800 moorings and some ports and harbours;
  • Leasing of virtually all seabed out to 12 nautical miles, covering some 750 fish farming sites and agreements with cables & pipeline operators, and equivalent rights to the seabed out to 200 nautical miles;
  • The rights to leasing for offshore renewable energy and gas and carbon dioxide storage out to 200 nautical miles;
  • Retail and office units at 39-41 George Street Edinburgh.

(Please see Annex C for further details and the following maps (image 2 and 3) provide information on Scottish Crown Estate assets including the geographic extent and current distribution of the assets)

Image 2: Scotland and the Scottish Zone

Image 2: Scotland and the Scottish Zone

Image 3: Crown Estate Scotland Agreements by Sector – As at 23 July 2019

Image 3: Crown Estate Scotland Agreements by Sector – As at 23 July 2019

Data supplied courtesy of Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management)

4. The Scottish Crown Estate includes a diverse range of assets that are an integral part of our urban, rural, coastal and marine asset base. The diversity of the property, rights and interests comprising the Scottish Crown Estate means that decisions on retention, use or sale of the assets can deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits for local communities and across Scotland into the future. Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) is currently the manager of all the assets.

5. Decisions on how the property, land and other assets are managed sit within the context and requirements of other elements of Scotland's broader regulatory system such as property law, environmental legislation, land use strategy and the marine and terrestrial planning systems. The Plan therefore has the principles of sustainable development and securing social, economic and environmental benefits at its core, to enable the Scottish Crown Estate assets to be managed in a way that brings value to Scotland's people, economy and environment.

6. The Plan outlines our vision for the Scottish Crown Estate, and sets out a strategic framework for the future management of the assets. This Plan sets out our ambitions for the Scottish Crown Estate and provides a strategic direction to optimise the use of Scottish Crown Estate assets and contribute to the successful delivery of wider Scottish Government strategies and policies with the objective of providing the best outcomes for Scotland.

7. The Plan sets out objectives, priorities and policies in relation to the management of the Scottish Crown Estate and an assessment of how these align with Scottish Ministers' other objectives priorities and policies, including those contained in the Climate Change Plan, National Planning Framework, National Marine Plan, Economic Strategy, Energy Strategy, National Tourism Strategy and other elements of the NPF, in which the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals are embedded.

8. For example, although we have already reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 40% since 1990, the Scottish Government has stated that it aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2045, and become carbon neutral by 2040. These long-term climate change targets will require the near-complete decarbonisation of our energy system by 2050, with renewable energy meeting a significant share of our needs. The Scottish Energy Strategy published in December 2017 sets a 2030 target for the equivalent of 50% of the energy for Scotland's heat, transport and electricity consumption to be supplied by renewable sources.

9. The Scottish Crown Estate can make a significant contribution towards the achievement of these targets. We will work with Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) to ensure continued commitment to investments, projects and activities related to the Scottish Crown Estate in order to contribute to climate change adaptation and facilitate wider societal adaptation.

10. The Plan is underpinned by and takes account of the legislative requirements including the Act which paves the way for changes in how the Scottish Crown Estate may be managed in the future. For example, the Act includes new duties for the manager of a Scottish Crown Estate asset to act in a way to further the achievement of sustainable development and promote social, economic and environmental benefits. The Act also opens up the possibility of local authorities, community organisations, Scottish Harbour Authorities[2] and other eligible bodies taking on the management of an asset or part of an asset.

11. In addition to the statutory requirements, the Plan also outlines policies on Scottish Crown Estate revenue, our intentions on the development of guidance on management of the assets and other information. The Plan also outlines a process whereby Scottish Ministers will invite and consider proposals for transfer or delegation of management in the future.

12. The purpose of the Plan is to guide, support and inform those with responsibility for the management of Scottish Crown Estate assets either now or in the future and to also provide information to others with an interest in how the assets are managed. This is done by setting out a vision and objectives, priorities and policies for an integrated approach to managing the assets sustainably for the benefit of Scotland.

13. The purpose of the consultation is to enable anyone with an interest in Scottish Crown Estate assets to engage and contribute to the development of the first Strategic Management Plan for the Scottish Crown Estate. In parallel to this consultation, Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) are consulting on a draft Corporate Plan 2020-2023. Details of both consultations are available at:



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