A consultation on how the Crown Estate should be run north of the border is a “genuine opportunity to change the fabric of Scottish society”, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has said.
The Scottish Government has appealed for people to have their say on how the commercial property arm of the royal family should be managed when power over it is devolved to Holyrood.
The Crown Estate owns large swathes of land and property across Britain, including rural estates, Scotland”s seabed, much of its foreshore and a range of other properties.
It deals with salmon fishing rights, shooting rights and mineral rights, which allow people to quarry, mine or otherwise extract materials from underground, for rural estates, as well as the rights to naturally-occurring gold and silver in Scotland.
READ MORE: How much land does the Crown own in Scotland?
It also leases areas of the seabed for projects such as wind, wave and tidal energy developments, telecommunications cables and oil and gas pipelines.
Both the management of the organisation and the revenues generated in Scotland are being transferred as part of the changes in the 2016 Scotland Act.
The consultation says there is a “basic question about whether the estate should continue being managed on a primarily commercial basis” or whether wider considerations, such as community benefits, could be taken into account when decisions are made.
Ms 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.
“I would encourage all those interested to respond to the consultation and help us to assume our new powers in a way which creates solutions which meet Scotland’s needs and interests.”
An interim management body - Crown Estate Scotland - is being set up to take on the management of the Crown Estate from April 2017, when the new responsibilities are expected to be devolved.
MSPs at the Scottish Parliament could potentially then consider a Bill on the Crown Estate during 2019, which could then come into force from 2019/20.
Amanda Bryan, shadow chairing member of Crown Estate Scotland, said: “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.”