8.1 Monitoring Proposals
8.1.1 Section 19 of the 2005 Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act requires the Responsible Authority to monitor significant environmental impacts arising as a result of the implementation of the plan, programme or strategy. The purpose of the monitoring is to identify any unforeseen adverse effects at an early stage and to enable appropriate remedial action to be taken.
8.1.2 The Scottish Government will monitor implementation of the Strategic Management Plan, delivery of the objectives, priorities and policies and alignment with wider objectives, priorities and policies. The Scottish Government will work with Crown Estate Scotland and prospective managers of Scottish Crown Estate assets to ensure that appropriate monitoring is undertaken alongside wider monitoring under the National Performance Framework.
8.1.4 The monitoring and review of the Plan will be informed by the delivery of targets and indicators in Crown Estate Scotland corporate plans and any management plans prepared by other managers.
8.1.5 Corporate plans and management plans should set out how the manager plans to manage the asset over the next 3 years. Annual reports will also provide an assessment of how a manager has performed against the objectives. Therefore, annual reports and management plans will be one method used to monitor the performance of the managers of the assets.
8.1.6 Monitoring of significant environmental effects will be aligned with the monitoring for the Value Project which is a tool being developed by Crown Estate Scotland to better understand, measure and monitor the social, economic and environmental benefits generated from the Scottish Crown Estate. Therefore the proposed monitoring and reporting mechanism for monitoring environmental effects would include use of this monitoring tool.
8.1.7 It is expected that this Value Project will provide an appropriate monitoring framework for the purposes of SEA. The requirements of the 2005 Act will be fully incorporated into the monitoring framework and all relevant comments received will be considered.
8.2 Responses to the Consultation on Reporting, Monitoring and Reviews of the Plan.
8.2.1 A specific consultation question was posed around the Reporting, Monitoring and Reviews of the Plan.
8.2.2 When asked if they had any comments or additional suggestions on the arrangements for monitoring and review of the Plan, the majority of respondents commented. It was felt that there should be explicit reference to engagement with stakeholders and the public as part of the monitoring and evaluation requirements (and this should also be reflected in the suite of indicators developed). The arrangements were felt to be relatively high level, and there would need to be further development work undertaken and more detail provided on the process and a common set of outcomes and indicators. A comment was made that to ensure that monitoring and reporting arrangements are not too onerous or burdensome, in particular for community groups. Another comment stated that monitoring and reporting arrangements should be underpinned by a commitment for openness and transparency.
8.2.3 SG response: The Scottish Government agrees that the suite of indicators should include indicators based on stakeholder engagement. The Scottish Government also propose that common indicators will be developed and will be measured against the objectives, priorities and policies (wording has been added to the Plan accordingly). The Scottish Government agrees in principle regarding ease of monitoring and reporting, while recognising it is the management of public assets. Monitoring arrangements will be confirmed in due course. A commitment for openness and transparency has been included in the Plan.
8.2.4 A comment was made that monitoring for SEA purposes would be aligned with monitoring for the Value Project which is a tool being developed to better understand, measure and monitor the benefits generated from the Scottish Crown Estate. It was suggested that monitoring could also include gathering data on the location and extent of activities associated with the Plan’s objectives, priorities and policies and potential environmental effects.
8.2.5 SG response: The Scottish Government agrees in principle and in future, the results of CES’s Value Project could build on the SEA findings. In the future, activity will not be limited to the footprint of the SCE. This is linked to the objectives, priorities and policies relating to investment outside of the estate. Where a manager is investing outside of the estate the effects should be monitored.
8.2.6 Other comments specific to reviews of the Plan included consideration to be given to a mechanism to allow early or interim reviews and alignment of the timeframes for review of the Plan and Crown Estate Scotland Corporate Plan.
8.2.7 SG response: Strategic Managers already have the ability to review the Plan at any time with a five year period. The Scottish Government notes the comment regarding aligning the reviews, and will keep this suggestion under review.