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Reform to Scottish Crown Estate opens door to community renewable projects

Community wind turbine
Community wind turbine

Plans to reform legislation around Scotland’s Crown Estate could open the door to community controlled assets and new renewable energy projects.

The Scottish Crown Estate Bill will look to establish changes to the current framework in the management of assets held by the Crown Estate.

The rule change will see local communities have a stronger voice in how these assets are managed.

Roseanna Cunningham, Scottish cabinet secretary for land reform, said: “This is a significant moment for Scotland and is the first ever Bill on the Scottish Crown Estate. Building on the work of the Smith Commission, this Bill proposes, for the first time, new powers for Scottish Ministers to change who manages Scottish Crown Estate assets, and opens up the possibility of local authorities and communities taking control of the management of those assets.

“The Estate consists of a diverse portfolio, including thousands of hectares of rural land, half of Scotland’s foreshore, urban property and seabed leasing rights for activities such as renewable energy. That is why this Bill recognises that a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not practical, laying the foundation for changes in the management of individual assets.”

The new legislation would introduce greater powers for councils and communities to directly manage Scottish Crown Estate assets.

The total capital value of Scottish Crown Estate assets is £275.7million and the approximate gross annual revenue is £15million.

Ms Cunningham added: “I believe strongly in maximising the benefits of the Crown Estate for our communities and the country as a whole, while ensuring assets are well maintained and managed, with high standards of openness and accountability.

“That’s why I have put these principles at the very heart of this important Bill.”

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