Publication - Publication

Scottish Crown Estate strategic management plan: environmental report

Published: 10 Sep 2019
Directorate:
Marine Scotland Directorate
Part of:
Marine and fisheries
ISBN:
9781839601439

Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of the consultation draft of the Scottish Crown Estate strategic management plan.

118 page PDF

9.4 MB

118 page PDF

9.4 MB

Contents
Scottish Crown Estate strategic management plan: environmental report
1 The draft Strategic Management Plan

118 page PDF

9.4 MB

1 The draft Strategic Management Plan

1.1 Introduction

1.1.1 This report has been prepared in accordance with the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 (referred to hereafter as "the 2005 Act"). The 2005 Act requires all qualifying policies, plans, programmes and strategies (referred to generally as plans) to undergo SEA. This provides a systematic process for identifying, reporting and mitigating the environmental impacts of the proposed Plan.[a]

1.1.2 The Strategic Management Plan is a qualifying plan in accordance with Section 5(4) of the 2005 Act, and is the subject of this assessment.

1.1.3 Table 1 shows the key facts in relation to the Strategic Management Plan which are further expanded upon in the following sections.

1.2 Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019

1.2.1 In 2014, the Smith Commission recommended that the management of Crown Estate assets in Scotland and their revenues should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. This was enabled through provisions in The Scotland Act 2016, and on 1 April 2017, powers over the revenue and management of Crown Estate resources in Scotland were formally transferred. In parallel, Scottish Ministers committed to a two phase approach for devolving the management of Crown Estate assets:

1. The establishment of an interim body, 'Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management)'.

2. The development and implementation of a statutory framework to change the long-term management of the Crown Estate in Scotland (the Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019). The 2019 Act renames Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) as Crown Estate Scotland and sets out the framework for its governance and decision making.

1.2.2 The 2019 Act reforms management of the Scottish Crown Estate (SCE) and establishes a framework to deliver wider benefits and new opportunities for local control of the management of individual Scottish Crown Estate assets - Figure 1 shows the other sectors/activities with which the management of the Scottish Crown Estate interacts.

1.2.3 The 2019 Act contains general powers and duties for the management of Scottish Crown Estate assets and the timing for commencement of the individual provisions of the 2019 Act is currently under consideration with Scottish Ministers. In the meantime, the current legislative framework contained in the Crown Estate Act 1961 continues to operate.

Table 1: Key Facts on the Strategic Management Plan

Responsible Authority

The Responsible Authority for undertaking the SEA is Marine Scotland

Title of Plan Programme, Strategy (PPS)

The Scottish Crown Estate Strategic Management Plan

Reason for the PPS

The Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019 received Royal Assent on 15 January 2019. It reforms management of the Scottish Crown Estate and establishes a framework to deliver wider benefits and new opportunities for local control of the management of individual Scottish Crown Estate assets.

The Act places a duty on the Scottish Ministers to prepare a plan for the management of the Scottish Crown Estate. Section 22 and section 23 of the Act make provision for what must be included in the Plan and how it must be prepared, consulted on and reviewed. These requirements include setting out the Scottish Ministers' objectives, priorities and policies with respect to:

1. the management of the Estate (including the acquisition of new assets);

2. and an assessment of how those objectives, priorities and policies align with the Scottish Ministers' other objectives, priorities and policies.

Subject of the PPS

The draft Scottish Crown Estate Strategic Management Plan considers the long-term management of Crown Estate assets in Scotland which extend across a broad range of sectors including agricultural and forestry land, most of the seabed, just under half of the foreshore, and some commercial property.

Period covered by PPS

The Strategic Management Plan covers the period up to 2025.

Frequency of updates

Scottish Ministers are required to keep the Strategic Management Plan under review and must revise it after 5 years, if not before.

Area covered by the PPS

The Strategic Management Plan will cover the whole of Scotland.

Purpose and/or objectives of the PPS

The purpose of the Strategic Management Plan is to set out a definitive and transparent statement on the vision and high level objectives, priorities and policies for the future management of the Scottish Crown Estate, how the assets are to be managed under the new legal framework, and a broad outline of likely future changes to the management of the estate, including how the new framework could look at the end of the five year period.

Contact

For further information related to the Strategic Management Plan please contact: scottishcrownestate.consultation@gov.scot

1.3 Main Provisions of the Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019

1.3.1 The 2019 Act contains new powers for reform of the current legal framework for the management of assets, which dates back to the Crown Estate Act 1961, including new legal powers and duties to take account of wider economic, social and environmental benefits, as well as the financial return to the estate, when making decisions on the management of the estate and individual assets.

1.3.2 The 2019 Act allows, on a case-by-case basis, for local authorities, Scottish Harbour Authorities, Scottish Ministers, other public bodies and community organisations to become managers of SCE assets, while recognising that some assets may need to continue being managed at the national level.

1.3.3 The 2019 Act also includes a new accounting framework and powers and duties to provide for a national framework to underpin a mix of national and local management of assets by different organisations in future, such as national reporting duties. The 2019 Act places a duty on the Scottish Ministers to prepare a plan for the management of the SCE which is the Strategic Management Plan which forms the subject of this assessment.

1.4 Overview

1.4.1 Section 22 and section 23 of the 2019 Act make provision for what must be included in the Plan and how it must be prepared, consulted on and reviewed. These requirements include:

a) setting out the Scottish Ministers' objectives, priorities and policies in relation to the management of the Estate (including the acquisition of new assets), and,

b) assessment of how those objectives, priorities and policies align with the Scottish Ministers' other objectives, priorities and policies.

1.4.2 The draft Plan outlines the process for developing concepts introduced in the Act, including guidance for future managers of SCE assets to request a transfer or delegation of individual assets on a case-by-case basis.

1.4.3 A manager of an asset must have regard to the Plan when (a) preparing a management plan and exercising any of the manager's other functions. Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) must also prepare a Corporate Plan and must review this every three years.

1.4.4 Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) is currently consulting on a draft version of the new Corporate Plan 2020-2023 in advance of providing a final version for approval by Scottish Ministers: https://www.crownestatescotland.com/media-and-notices/news-media-releases-opinion/have-your-say-on-how-crown-estate-scotland-invests-in-property-and-natural-resources

1.4.5 The Scottish Ministers' Strategic Management Plan and Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management)'s Corporate Plan are related and complementary. Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management)'s draft Corporate Plan has been prepared in parallel with, and informed by, the draft Strategic Management Plan. In addition, early outputs from the SEA of the draft Strategic Management Plan have been shared with Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management). Figure 2 sets out the statutory requirements under the Scottish Crown Estate Act and Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management)'s corporate responsibilities to prepare plans.

1.5 Purpose of the draft Strategic Management Plan

1.5.1 The purpose of the first ever Strategic Management Plan is to set out a definitive and transparent statement on the vision and high level objectives, priorities and policies for the future management of the estate, how the assets are to be managed under the new legal framework, and a broad outline of likely future changes to the management of the estate, including how the new framework could look at the end of the five year period.

1.6 Other Initiatives

1.6.1 In 2018 Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) launched their local asset management pilot scheme process which will inform how aspects of the Act; including more permanent arrangements for local management of the assets; may be best implemented. The pilot scheme has been designed to encourage local authorities, development trusts and other eligible bodies to manage SCE land and property rights in their local area as part of a contractual arrangement with Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management). The aim is that the scheme and the projects that emerge from it will enable different methods of managing assets to be tested, empowering communities and giving people more say in decisions that impact the land, foreshore and sea. The pilot scheme process will be evaluated and the findings will be used to inform the approach for the more permanent arrangements for local management in due course.

1.7 Wider Policy Context

1.7.1 The Strategic Management Plan will contribute to the delivery of the National Performance Framework 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."

The diversity of the property, rights and interests of the SCE means that decisions on the sale or use of the assets can deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits for Scotland and local communities. However, decisions on property, land and other assets sit within a wider regulatory and policy framework which includes relevant aspects of property law, environmental legislation, the marine and terrestrial planning and consenting systems.

1.8 Legal and Policy Framework

1.8.1 The 2019 Act includes the power to transfer ownership of an asset under a manager's management. The draft Strategic Management Plan sits within the framework under the 2019 Act and Scottish Ministers' policy framework for the management of the estate and individual assets. The seabed is considered a national strategic asset and Scottish Ministers policy is to minimise fragmentation of the ownership or equivalent rights to the seabed so there are likely to be less frequent or substantial changes in ownership of the seabed compared to other components of the estate and more constraints on a manager's ability to sell seabed.

1.8.2 In addition, Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) decisions on leasing the seabed and other parts of the estate operate within the wider regulatory framework. This means that leasing decisions for use or exclusive access to the seabed including the foreshore, mining rights and other parts of the estate will not usually in themselves provide the holder of the lease with the right to commence an activity, such as construction of a windfarm or oil and gas pipeline, extraction of material from the seabed, deposit of materials on the seabed or placement of any other structure on the seabed. A Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) lease will only be granted when all necessary consents and permits are in place.

1.8.3 An overview of the overarching policy context considered most relevant to the preparation of the Management Plan is illustrated in Table 2.

1.9 Overview of the Plan

1.9.1 In addition to the statutory requirements, the Plan includes policies on use of net revenue, intentions on what guidance will be developed and plans for how the discretionary powers for Scottish Ministers contained in the Act may be used. In summary the Plan includes:

  • The Vision;
  • Objectives, priorities and policies in relation to:
    • The management of the Estate (including the acquisition of new assets);
    • Policies on Scottish Crown Estate revenue;
    • Future intentions on what guidance will be developed;
    • A process for inviting and considering proposals for transfer or delegation of management in the future.

1.9.2 The draft Scottish Government Strategic Management Plan Vision is:

"The Scottish Crown Estate is managed sustainably, responsibly and fairly, and in a transparent and inclusive manner, to deliver financial benefits and wider and long term social, economic and environment benefits for Scotland and its communities".

1.10 Objectives, Priorities, Policies and Reasonable Alternatives

1.10.1 22 draft objectives, priorities and policies are set out for the draft Plan. These draft objectives, priorities and policies for the Strategic Management Plan have been presented as themes. Not all of them were considered likely to have significant environmental effects, for example, because they relate to administrative or procedural matters or concern the future provision of advice which will be non-binding in nature. Further commentary on the themes that are the focus of the assessment is provided, where appropriate, in section 2.3. Detail on each objective, priority and policy can be found in the Strategic Management Plan itself.

Figure 1: Scottish Crown Estate - Sectors and Activities

Figure 1: Scottish Crown Estate - Sectors and Activities

Figure 2: Relationships between the Strategic Management Plan and other Crown Estate PPS

Figure 2: Relationships between the Strategic Management Plan and other Crown Estate PPS

Table 2: Relationship with other Plans, Policies and Strategies

Plan, Programme or Strategy

Relationship with the Scottish Crown Estate Strategic Management Plan

National Planning Framework 3[1]

This is a long term spatial expression of the Government's Economic Strategy, and of plans for development and investment in infrastructure. It identifies national developments and other strategically important development opportunities in Scotland. It supports development that facilitates adaptation to climate change, reduces resource consumption and lowers greenhouse gas emissions.

Programme for Government[2]

Sets out government plans for the coming year including Bills that will be introduced to Scottish Parliament, a key theme being building a globally competitive, sustainable and inclusive economy. The draft programme will support communities to benefit from the new revenue from the Scottish Crown Estate marine assets.

Scottish Government's Economic Strategy[3]

Sets a framework for a competitive and fairer Scotland based on two key pillars, increasing competitiveness and tackling inequality. The Smith Commission recommended devolution of the management of and revenues from the Crown Estate in Scotland, including the seabed surrounding Scotland's coasts. The Scottish Government will use these new powers to ensure that communities enjoy greater benefits from their local assets.

Climate Change Plan[4]

Sets out actions towards a low carbon economy in the context for the Scottish Government's climate change proposals and policies and its statutory duties. It also provides information on sector emissions envelopes and reduction trajectories.

National Tourism Strategy[5]

Launched in June 2012, with an ambition to grow visitor spend to £1bn by 2020, the Strategy has with five primary aims related to growing tourism, associated income and employment.

Scotland's National Marine Plan[6]

Covers the management of both Scottish inshore waters (out to 12 nautical miles) and offshore waters (12 to 200 nautical miles). The plan provides direction to a wide range of marine decisions and consents made by public bodies including Local Authorities and the Crown Estate.

The Marine (Scotland) Act 2010[7]

Provides a framework which will help balance competing demands on Scotland's seas. It introduces a duty to protect and enhance the marine environment and includes measures to help boost economic investment and growth in areas such as marine renewables. It's main measures include marine planning, marine licencing, marine conservation, seal conservation and enforcement.

The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy[8]

Aims to protect and restore biodiversity on land and in our seas, and to support healthy ecosystems, connect people with the natural world, for their health and well-being and to involve them more in decision making and maximise the benefits for Scotland of a diverse natural environment and the services it provides, contributing to sustainable economic growth. It supports an ecosystem approach.

Historic Environment Policy for Scotland[9]

Outlines how we should undertake a duty of care for our historic environment and includes six policies which defines how the historic environment should be managed. These include Policy 3 - Plans, Programmes, Policies and Strategies and the allocation of resources should protect and promote the historic environment. Where detrimental impacts on the historic environment arising from these are identified and unavoidable, steps should be taken to demonstrate that alternatives have been explored and mitigation measures put in place.

The Scottish Energy Strategy[10]

Sets out the Scottish Government's vision for the future energy system in Scotland. The Strategy is guided by the three core principles of a whole system view, an inclusive energy transition and a smarter local energy model and structured around six priorities including consumer engagement and protection, energy efficiency, system security and flexibility, innovative local energy systems, renewable and low carbon solutions and oil and gas industry strengths.

Economic Action Plan[11]

The aim of the actions is to put Scotland at the forefront in transitioning to a carbon neutral, circular economy. They will modernise transport and energy systems, achieve and maintain world class connectivity and harness innovation to create and scale successful businesses, while tackling key social challenges like the changing demographics of the population and the associated challenges of skilling and reskilling. These issues apply across cities, towns and rural areas, as well as in our islands. In doing so, the Scottish Government aims to create opportunities for every business, individual, family, local community and region in Scotland.

Land Use Strategy[12]

Builds on the framework set out in 2011 and supports the long term goal that well integrated, sustainable land use delivering multiple benefits for all in society remains valid and achievable.

Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement[13]

Seeks to inform policy and practice around land issues in Scotland, operating jointly with other relevant strategies and policies. It applies to all urban and rural land, buildings and other infrastructure in Scotland, for land owners, land managers, tenants or land users. The statement relates to existing strategies that will help inform future iterations of Scotland's Economic Strategy, the Land Use Strategy and the National Planning Framework.

First Land Rights and Responsibilities Protocol, Community Engagement in Decisions Relating to Land[14]

Sets out practical advice on how landowners, land managers and communities can work together to make better - and fairer - decisions about land use.

Fair Work Framework[15]

Supports world leading working life where fair work drives success, wellbeing and prosperity for individuals, businesses, organisations and society.

Homes fit for the 21st Century[16]

Supports affordable homes for all. It assists to build the new, high quality, affordable homes (including social housing) to meet current need and the demand arising from our growing and ageing population and to maximise the sustainable housing options available across all tenures, including for people living on lower incomes, and to significantly improve the quality of the existing housing stock and the places we create.

Scotland's Forestry Strategy[17]

Seeks to increase the contribution of forests and woodlands to Scotland's sustainable and inclusive economic growth, improve the resilience of Scotland's forests and woodlands and increase their contribution to a healthy and high quality environment and increase the use of Scotland's forest and woodland resources to enable more people to improve their health, well-being and life chances.

UK Marine Policy Statement[18]

Will facilitate and support the formulation of Marine Plans, ensuring that marine resources are used in a sustainable way in line with the high level marine objectives. These objectives support sustainable economic development, moving towards a low carbon economy and societal benefits of the marine area.

Sustainable Development Goals[19]

These are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The goals are interconnected and address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.

Scotland's Farmed Fish Health Framework[20]

Aims to plan and respond to new and developing challenges, such as the maintenance of high standards of fish health. It looks to the long-term and continues to evolve as knowledge of fish health challenges and possible mitigation evolves.

A future strategy for Scottish Agriculture[21]

Sets out strategic ambitions for Scottish farming. These include aligning agriculture with land and other assets, in all their biophysical diversity, supported by tailored policies that lead to real commercial results, taking action in difficult times to justify spending and support farming's stewardship of the countryside.

CES Draft Rural Assets Strategy[22]

Earlier in 2019, Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) published the Rural Assets Strategy Consultation which sought views on the management of Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management)'s rural assets, including that of agricultural land, commercial forestry, salmon fishing, minerals, residential property and development land. The Strategy will cover the period 2019 - 2023.

Crown Estate Scotland Business Plans[23]

The purpose is to invest in property, natural resources and people to generate lasting value for Scotland through the values of collaboration, excellence, integrity and commercialism.


Contact

Email: nikki.milne@gov.scot