1.1.1 The draft Crown Estate Scotland Strategic Management Plan was prepared in 2019 and was subject to Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). The associated Environmental Report was consulted alongside the draft Plan between 30 August and 22nd November 2019. The finalised Plan is available online at https://www.gov.scot/publications/first-strategic-management-plan-scottish-crown-estate/.
1.1.2 The development of the first Strategic Management Plan for the Scottish Crown Estate marks an important milestone within a wider programme of work to secure devolution and reform of the management of the Scottish Crown Estate. The assets, which have a current total capital value of nearly £400 million, include rural estates, just under half of Scotland’s foreshore and leasing rights for activities on the seabed out to 200 nautical miles. The assets form a core element of how Scotland can protect, use and develop its marine, coastal, rural and other assets in the future.
1.1.3 The Smith Commission (2014) recommended that the management of Crown Estate assets in Scotland and their revenues should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. This was given effect through provisions in the Scotland Act 2016 which came into force on the 1st April 2017.
1.1.4 The draft Plan sought to build on the considerable work undertaken to date, including:
- Securing control of the assets for Scotland.
- Establishing Crown Estate Scotland to manage the assets, ensuring a smooth transfer for staff, tenants and other stakeholders. Its core purpose is to invest in property, natural resources and people to generate lasting value for Scotland.
- An explicit commitment was made by Scottish Ministers to develop proposals to reform the long-term management of the Crown Estate in Scotland. The Scottish Crown Estate Bill 2018 was subsequently introduced to the Scottish Parliament in January 2018.
- The Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019, which was granted Royal Assent on the 15th January 2019. This provides a new legislative framework for the management of Scottish Crown Estate assets. It provides a mechanism for the transfer or delegation of the management of individual assets to a defined range of eligible managers, including local authorities, Scottish Harbour Authorities and community organisations.
- Early conversations as to how the wider sustainability benefits for Scotland can be enhanced and how local approaches to the management of assets can be piloted.