Scottish Crown Estate strategic management plan: island communities impact assessment

An islands communities impact assessment relating to the first Scottish Crown Estate strategic management plan.

Scottish Crown Estate Strategic Management Plan: Island Communities Impact Assessment

Title of policy/ practice/ strategy/ legislation etc.
Scottish Crown Estate Strategic Management Plan

Lead Minister
Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform

Lead official
Nim Kumar

Directorate Division Team
Marine Scotland
Marine Planning and Policy (MPP)
Crown Estate Strategy Unit

1. Stage 1 – Planning

What is the main aim of your policy/strategy?

The scope of the first Strategic Management Plan (the Plan) covers Scottish Ministers’ vision of the future management of the Scottish Crown Estate (SCE) for the next 5 years. 

The SCE is a set of ancient rights, land and property which are owned by the Monarch. The Plan was prepared in line with section 22 of the Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019 (the Act). Section 23(1) of the Act requires that Scottish Ministers must, no later than the end of each 5 year period, review the Plan.

At present there is a single manager, Crown Estate Scotland, who manages the portfolio of property, rights and interests. The Plan takes account of the diverse portfolio interest of the SCE, which includes:

  • 37,000 hectares of rural land with agricultural tenancies, residential and commercial properties and forestry on four rural estates (Glenlivet & Fochabers in Moray, Applegirth in Dumfries and Galloway and Whitehill in Midlothian);
  • 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 in some ports and harbours around the whole of Scotland;
  • 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.

Details of assets can be found at

The Plan presents Scottish Ministers’ 5 year vision for the SCE. It sets out our objectives, priorities and policies as well as how those align with the Scottish Government’s wider objectives, priorities and policies such as Climate Change, Energy, National Marine Plan, Economic Strategy and the National Performance Framework. One of the Plan’s primary objectives is to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the way in which the Estate is managed. 

The Act allows for a number of different managers to manage the SCE. Each manager will be required to prepare a management or corporate plan for assets which are being managed, taking into account the Strategic Management Plan.  A manager will need to consider the implications of their management or corporate plan on island communities.

2. Stage 2 – Evidence

What impact will your policy/strategy/plan have on island communities?

The Plan for the SCE is a high level document. It aims to guide, support and inform all those who live on or near to SCE assets, current managers, those who wish to become managers of individual assets and the whole of Scotland of Scottish Ministers’ vision for the Estate. 

The Plan will provide a framework to ensure that managers maintain and seek to enhance the capital value and revenue from the SCE assets in a way that supports sustainable development, including economic development, regeneration, social and environmental well-being across the estate. More widely, the Plan contributes to the successful delivery of a number of wider Scottish Government policies and delivery of the National Performance Framework. 

The Plan recognises that strategies in relation to the management of the assets will consider the potential for delivering benefits to not just island communities but communities throughout Scotland. 

The Plan is nationwide and is therefore not intended to solely have a direct or negative impact on island communities.  However, aspects of the Plan are likely to have indirect positive impacts on island communities and communities throughout Scotland. However, any such impacts on island communities and other communities throughout Scotland will flow from how individual managers take decisions within the overall legal framework. This includes the development of individual Management Plans. 

It is expected that each Corporate Plan or Management Plan prepared by a manager will include measures which will seek to ensure that the needs/impacts on island communities are taken into account where a manager is responsible for assets in any of the island communities. 

3. What consultation have you had with the island communities on your policy/strategy/plan?

There was a significant amount of discussion and consultation on the future management of the Scottish Crown Estate. The Plan is nationwide, but Scottish Ministers looked to engage with island communities throughout the process by: 

  • Holding bilateral discussions with the island councils; 
  • Having discussions with wider policy colleagues responsible on the Scottish Government Islands policy;
  • Scottish Ministers established the Stakeholder Advisory Group on Crown Estate which includes stakeholders from islands communities including island local authorities who are regularly informed on the Government’s strategy in establishing a devolved policy and legislative framework for the Scottish Crown Estate; and 
  • Scottish Ministers ran a twelve-week public consultation on the draft Strategic Management Plan (including a draft Island impact assessment form) from 30 August to 22 November 2019.  Key island stakeholders were informed and encouraged to submit their contributions.  The consultation resulted in:
    • A total of 34 consultation responses being received.  
    • Overall, respondents agreed with our proposed vision, objectives, priorities and policies.
    • Where a response was provided to the relevant consultation question about the Island Impact question, the majority agreed with our conclusion on the impact assessment. 
    • The profile of respondents by category consisted of organisations from local authorities, enterprise or coastal management bodies, leisure/tourism, fisheries/seafood bodies, Island stakeholders and other respondents. 

4. Stage 4 – Decision 

Does your policy/strategy/plan require an Island Communities Impact Assessment?

The objectives, priorities and policies within the Plan will apply to all managers of SCE assets over the broad range of national assets throughout Scotland.  The Corporate Plan or Management Plans required under the Act will need to take into consideration the potential impacts to island communities which could involve the consideration of and an Island Communities Assessment if necessary. 

Our assessment is an Island Communities Impact Assessment does not need to be carried out for the Plan. The Plan is not designed to address any particular issues in relation to Island Communities. The Plan is for the whole of the SCE which covers the whole of Scotland, including the mainland and makes no distinction to the various communities or managers across Scotland. 

Section 23 (1) of the Act requires that the Scottish Ministers must, not later than the end of each 5 year review period, review the Strategic Management Plan. This will include an assessment on whether a further Islands Impact Assessment is required.

Sign off of the Island Communities Impact Assessment template

Name: Mike Palmer

Job title: Deputy Director
Marine Scotland: Marine Planning and Policy
7 April 2020



Back to top