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Hebrides News


Many island harbours pay rent to the Crown Estate

Proposal for local control of foreshore and seabed

5 January 2017

A 12 week consultation on the long term management of the Crown Estate in Scotland has been launched.

Options are being considered to break up the management of its assets to local councils such as Comhairle nan Eilean Siar or to communities, including island land buyout estates.

Alternatively, the Crown Estate’s £272 million assets could be controlled centrally by a Scottish Government agency.

The body runs property assets owned by the Queen with the revenue going to the Treasury.

The Crown Estate earns £14 million a year from its Scottish assets and controls seabed leases out to 12 nautical miles and rights to renewable energy, cables and pipelines on the continental shelf.

Also under its wing is about half of Scotland's foreshore including 5,000 licensed moorings, 800 aquaculture sites, and salmon fishing rights.

Many harbours, piers, salmon farms, shellfish sites farm in the Western Isles are built upon seabed rented from the Crown Estate.

Future developments for yacht marinas, aquaculture, and coastal renewable energy schemes depend on getting permission from the body.

Environment Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “Control over the management and resources of the Crown Estate in Scotland should rest with the people of Scotland and this is a genuine opportunity to change the fabric of Scottish Society.

“This consultation is a once in a lifetime opportunity to help shape the future management of The Crown Estate in Scotland.

“Good management of our land, marine environment and other natural resources is essential for Scotland’s future prosperity.

A temporary public body - Crown Estate Scotland - was set up in 2016 to take on its management until the Scottish Government decides on long term arrangements.

Amanda Bryan, shadow chairing member of Crown Estate Scotland said: "From the 1st of April decisions about both the day to day management and the future of the estate will be taken in Scotland which is a huge step forward.

“I along with the staff of the new interim management body will seek to manage the estate responsibly, delivering benefits to our partners, tenants and communities and ensuring that it remains in good order for the next phase.”