A CALL for the radical reform of the way the Crown Estate functions in Scotland has been made by Community Land Scotland, representing Scotland’s community landowners.
As well as calling for change to make the Crown Estate more accountable to Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament, Community Land Scotland make arguments for even more radical change, calling for locally accountable community land owners to take over the control of appropriate assets currently managed by the Crown Estate.
There are further calls for the statutory duties and powers of the Crown Estate to be changed to allow them to contribute to economic and social development of local areas, and not simply extract rents and dues.
Speaking on the submission of evidence to both the Scottish Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament and the Scotland Bill Committee of the Scottish Parliament, David Cameron, Chairman of Community Land Scotland said,
“It is time for radical reform of the Crown Estate and part of that reform needs to empower local communities to take control of appropriate assets the Crown Estate currently manage, and manage those assets alongside the communities land based assets.
“Today communities which have bought their land control some 500,000 acres and are using ownership of that land to promote greater economic opportunity and a sustainable future. Community land owners are land managers, energy producers, housing developers, forestry entrepreneurs, broadband providers and tourism operators, and there is no reason why they could not also control the inshore marine assets that adjoin their land.
“All the evidence is that local community owners would bring enterprise and flair to utilising the marine assets around them, using income to invest locally, creating more local economic opportunity, where currently the Crown Estate extract rents and put little back.
“We hope the current debates on the future of the Crown Estate will give rise to real and radical change.”