Objectives, priorities and policies
The high level objectives, priorities and policies for the first Strategic Management Plan are presented below:
1. Scottish Crown Estate assets should be managed for the benefit of Scotland and communities, with market value being charged for sales or leases, unless the manager of the asset can demonstrate that wider benefits of equivalent scale will be delivered.
2. In order to realise the benefits potential, and in recognition that some land and property has been acquired over time for specific investment purposes, there are likely to be sales of assets or parts of assets over the five year period of the Plan, particularly on land or at the coast in response to requests for public benefit purposes or opportunities to increase value to Scotland, while recognising that the seabed is a national strategic asset that Scottish Ministers do not wish to become fragmented.
3. Strategies and Plans for Scottish Crown Estate assets should consider the potential for delivering benefits to island communities with an assessment of possible impacts to be completed as required under the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018.
4. Managers should consider the potential to contribute to wider policies on land reform and community empowerment by offering opportunities to own or manage these assets directly, and as part of strategies to consider the wider value of the existing land assets remaining part of the Scottish Crown Estate.
5. By 2025, the relative level of activity related to management of coastal and marine assets is likely to have grown compared with the rural land assets, to reflect the new opportunities that can be realised, but the Scottish Crown Estate is likely to still include a significant amount of land and property assets.
6. Managers should consider the potential for investments that contribute to the achievement of Scotland's Climate Change Plan and Climate Change Adaptation Plan, and consider the potential for increased investment activity for the purpose of regeneration for community or national benefit, including land on the coast around ports, harbours and other infrastructure, to realise opportunities for Scotland and local economies, and for these investments normally to be prioritised over other new commercial property investments.
7. Investments in the Scottish Crown Estate should not be limited to the land or property that currently forms part of the Estate, if returns or wider benefits to the Estate and Scotland can be realised (for example, to deliver benefits to communities living on the coast adjacent to parts of the seabed contained in the Estate.)
8. The diversity of the Scottish Crown Estate means that a one-size-fits-all approach to management is not practical and there are potential benefits of local control, management or enhanced input to decision-making within the national governance framework provided by the Act. This framework therefore provides the potential for different approaches in different parts of Scotland.
9. It is anticipated that by the end of the five year period there may be a variety of managers of Scottish Crown Estate assets with individual assets managed at the appropriate level and opportunities through either transfers, delegations or pilots for councils, communities and other eligible organisations to contribute to or control decisions on how assets are managed and used.
10. Scotland's seabed is a national strategic asset and the Government's current view is that it should be managed at the national level but Scottish Ministers will keep the arrangements under review to determine whether in the longer term it is most appropriate for assets to be managed at the national or local level.
11. Scottish Ministers will run an initial round to invite proposals for transfer or delegation of management of an asset, or parts of an asset, to local parts of Scotland, and will consult in advance on draft guidance on proposals, including relevant considerations when exercising the powers to obtain market value for an asset.
12. All managers should exercise functions when managing a Scottish Crown Estate asset in a way that is transparent, accountable, inclusive and consistent with any other principle of good governance.
13. Scottish Ministers will develop guidance or directions on the manner in which a manager is expected to comply with the requirements of the Scottish Crown Estate Act relating to furthering sustainable development and seeking to manage assets in a way that is likely to contribute to wider benefits to Scotland, including relevant considerations when exercising the powers in section 11 of the Act.
14. Scottish Ministers will develop directions or guidance on other requirements for managers including accounting requirements and any charging directions about rent and other charges.
15. The net revenues from the Scottish Crown Estate 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, and 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 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 will assist Scottish Ministers in implementing the Strategic Management 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.