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.

Island Communities Impact Assessment Summary

Title of Policy, Strategy, Programme etc.

Scottish Crown Estate: draft Strategic Management Plan

Summary of aims and expected outcomes of strategy, proposal, programme or policy

The purpose of the Scottish Ministers’ first Strategic Management Plan (the Plan) for the Scottish Crown Estate SCE assets, is to aim, guide and inform current managers, those who wish to become managers of individual assets and the whole of Scotland of Scottish Ministers’ vision of the Estate.

The Plan sets out a vision and high level objectives, priorities and policies for an integrated approach to managing the assets sustainably for the benefit of the whole of Scotland. 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 Plan is nationwide and makes no distinction between island or mainland communities or who the manager is, as all managers (whether islands or mainland managers) are required to take account of the Plan.

Summary of evidence

The first Strategic Management Plan for the SCE sets out the Scottish Ministers’ key objectives, priorities and policies for the management of the Estate. The Scottish Crown Estate is a diverse portfolio of assets, including: 

  • 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 provides a framework to ensure that managers maintain and seek to enhance the capital value and revenue from the assets in a way that supports sustainable development, and economic development, regeneration, social and environmental well-being across the estate. More widely, the Plan contributes to the successful delivery of a wide range of Government policies. 

The Plan recognises that strategies in relation to the management of the assets will consider the potential for delivering benefits to both island and mainland communities. 

The Plan is not intended to solely have a direct or negative impact on island communities as the Plan is nationwide. Aspects of the Plan could be likely to have an indirect positive impacts on island communities. However, any such impacts on island communities will flow from how individual managers take decisions within the overall legal framework. This includes the development of individual Management Plans which all managers must complete every three years. 

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

The majority of respondents who responded to the consultation on the draft Plan agreed with our assessment on whether an Island Communities Assessment is necessary.

Summary of assessment findings

Our assessment is an Island Communities Impact Assessment does not need to be carried out for the first Strategic Management Plan. 

The Plan is not designed to address any particular issues in relation to Island Communities. The Plan covers Scottish Ministers’ objectives, priorities and policies for the whole of the SCE which covers the whole of Scotland. The Plan make no distinction for the various communities or managers across Scotland. 


Name: Mike Palmer

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



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