A consultation to decide the future of Scotland’s Crown Estate opened yesterday.
The Scottish Government is seeking views on how best to manage and devolve the lands owned by the group, which includes much of the country’s foreshore and seabed.
The consultation will run until 29th March.
It follows calls from those who suggested the Crown Estate was not maximising the benefits to Scotland and its local communities to put control of the land back in the hands of the people.
The Crown Estate currently leases areas of the seabed for wind, wave and tidal energy developments as well as telecommunications cables and oil and gas pipelines. The consultation is expected to allow for better decisions to be made on how profits from these areas can be reinvested back into communities.
For example, the Crown Estate will likely have to take wider social benefits into account when deciding to lease or sell land, with potential measures such as lower amounts charged for renewable energy projects being introduced.
Roseanna Cunningham, Scotland’s Environment Minister, 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.”
Existing green energy projects in Scotland meant it exceeded its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 42% six years ahead of schedule.