2.1 The Smith Commission (2014) recommended that responsibility for the management of the Crown Estate's assets in Scotland, and the revenue generated from these assets, be transferred to the Scottish Parliament. The assets include the Crown Estate's seabed, urban assets, rural assets, mineral and some fishing rights in Scotland, and approximately half the Scottish foreshore for which the Crown is responsible.
2.2 In 2015, Scottish Ministers committed to seek devolution of the Crown Estate and, in the first instance, for management to be undertaken by a single body on an interim basis, then, in a second stage, to develop proposals for further changes for a long term management framework including opportunities for further devolution for the Crown Estate in Scotland. To achieve this, first stage interim management arrangements have been put in place to ensure smooth transfer of Crown Estate assets to Scottish Ministers.
2.3 To inform the second stage, the Scottish Government launched a public consultation on the long term arrangements for the Crown Estate in Scotland. The consultation was published on 4 January 2017 with views invited by 29 March 2017. Topics covered in the consultation included those which can be legislated for by the Scottish Parliament, namely: the overall aims for the estate; the basis for operational decisions on management of the property, rights and interests including leasing and sale of assets; who should manage the transferred functions in the future, including further devolution to the local level; the establishment of a national governance framework for management; and how the revenue should be used in future.
2.4 Responses to the consultation were encouraged via Citizen Space, which most respondents used.
2.5 The Scottish Government received 212 responses to the consultation. Table 2.1 overleaf shows the distribution of responses by category of respondent. A full list of respondents is in Annex 3 . The respondent category applied to each response was agreed with the Scottish Government policy team.
2.6 54% of responses were submitted by organisations; 46% were from individuals. Organisations were representative of a wide range of stakeholders, with the largest category being other commercial/research bodies comprising 10% of all respondents.
Analysis of responses
2.7 The consultation posed 52 questions, including closed questions and those inviting more open responses, which can be found here. The analysis of responses is presented in the following chapters which follow the order of the topics raised in the consultation document.
Table 2.1 Distribution of responses by category of respondent
|Category||No. of respondents||% of all respondents|
|Land and Estates||11||5|
|Ports and Harbours||8||4|
|Enterprise or Coastal Management Bodies||7||3|
2.8 Chapter 3 includes questions 1 - 13 which focus on the vision for the management of the Crown Estate in Scotland with the aim of maximising the benefits to the nation and communities. Chapter 4 includes questions 14 - 37 and explores in more detail various management issues such as principles, design options and level of devolution. Chapter 5 presents the analysis of questions 38 - 48 aimed at identifying views on how best to secure the benefits of Crown Estate assets in Scotland. Chapter 6 focuses on the potential impact of managing the Crown Estate in Scotland with questions 49 - 52 encompassing business and regulation; environmental; equality; and privacy impacts.
2.9 Annex 1 contains data tables which summarise the quantitative data from closed questions with data disaggregated to level of category of respondent.
2.10 Response rates to questions were largely over 50%. The questions on potential impact received the lowest response rate, with those on securing benefits of assets receiving the highest overall.