Treasury ‘not persuaded’ by devolution for Crown Estate

The Treasury have released a formal statement ruling out the devolution of Scottish assets from the Crown Estate to local communities.

The announcement was in regards to the suggestions from the Scottish Affairs Committee report looking into the Crown Estate and its management of Scottish assets.

The report stated that Scottish Communities were in real danger of “missing out” on the revenue raised from the assets which is expected to rise with the development of renewable energy, as well as highlighting the Crown Estates lack of transparency.

The Government statement said: “After careful consideration, the Government has concluded that there are strengths in the existing arrangements which should be retained as a matter of public interest.

“Within the framework, and in the context of the steps the Government and Crown Estate have already taken to improve its local relationships, such as the Government’s introduction of the Coastal Communities Fund, the Crown Estate now proposes additional measures to deepen its commitment to manage its Scottish properties to meet the legitimate concerns and aspirations of local people.”

Community Land Scotland, which works with communities in the process of taking ownership of public land said: “We are disappointed the Government has missed an opportunity to join the consensus for fundamental change in the way the Crown Estate is managed. The case for that change is undiminished.
“The report is somewhat contradictory in appearing to offer future opportunities through local management agreements, while also appearing to rule out transfer of control of vital local assets.
“While continuing to advocate more fundamental change, we will test the boundaries of what may be possible within the local management agreements that are proposed. We are not interested in token arrangements, we want our communities to have a real stake in the future ownership and management of their marine resources and to use those assets to grow their local economy - we are looking for access to assets that have real economic value to local communities.”