The basis of valuation for land acquired from the Crown Estate in connection with the Queensferry Crossing: FOI release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

FOI reference: FOI/18/03347
Date received: 31 October 2018
Date responded: 27 November 2018
Information requested
You asked for: The basis of the accepted valuation and the circumstances under which this was agreed in connection with the easement from the Crown Estate for the Queensferry Crossing. 


As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations.  We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA. 

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’.  Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.  We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

The answer to your question is: As with all land acquisitions undertaken by Transport Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers, The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) was asked for a determination on value. The basis of the valuation adopted was market value. This is the estimated amount for which an asset or liability should exchange on the valuation date between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an arm’s length transaction after proper marketing and where the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently and without compulsion. 

Although it is not possible to compulsorily acquire subjects from the Crown Estate, the VOA considered the principles which would have been adopted if a compulsory purchase was taking place and to the Crown Estate Act 1961 which states (section 3,1);

“Save as provided by the following provisions of this Act, the Commissioners shall not sell, lease or otherwise dispose of any land of the Crown Estate, or any right or privilege over or in relation to any such land, except for the best consideration in money or money’s worth which in their opinion can reasonably be obtained, having regard to all the circumstances of the case but excluding any element of monopoly value attributable to the extent of the Crown’s ownership of comparable land. “

The figure reached was on the basis of the best deal available. Based on the limited comparable information available, this is considered to be broadly in line with market value. The agreed figure is on the basis that no title restrictions will be imposed and there were no pre-existing title restrictions affecting the property. 

The subjects comprise of a corridor of seabed with airspace above running form Port Edgar in the south to St Margaret’s Hope in the north.  The areas involved were:

Permanent servitude                                         21,883 square metres

Permanently acquired land                              227,082 square metres.

As this case was treated in a similar way to a compulsory acquisition, Transport Scotland also paid the reasonable legal and surveying costs to the owners. 

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Central Enquiry Unit 
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