Scots want their seabed and shore stripped from the Crown Estate and devolved to Holyrood
Sunday 09 March 2014
The seabed and shore around Scotland should be stripped from the Crown Estate and devolved to Holyrood to give greater power to local communities, according to a committee of MPs.
In a new report, the Scottish Affairs Committee criticised the Crown Estate Commissioners for a "lack of accountability, transparency and communication" with local people over decisions affecting offshore windfarms, fish farms, harbours and other coastal issues in Scotland.
The foreshore and seabed in Scotland was being run "for the benefit of the UK Treasury", the committee added.
Ian Davidson, chairman of the committee, said that if Scots were given power over the sea, then he expected people in England and Wales would press for the same rights, but warned that the Royal Family might oppose the move.
He added that the Crown Estate acted like an "absentee landlord" provoking anger particularly in the Highlands and Islands.
The Crown Estate said it worked "closely" with communities, customers and government, but was "open to suggestions about further changes". Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
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