Control of coastline and foreshore changes

Cove Harbour trustees were locked in a legal battle with the Crown Estate at one time
Cove Harbour trustees were locked in a legal battle with the Crown Estate at one time

Transfer of Crown Estate control in Scotland to the Scottish Government is due to take place in April 2017 and interim management arrangements are currently out for consultation.

At a local level the Crown Estate largely affects the seabed and foreshore along the Berwickshire coastline, a situation which has had both positive and negative repercussions.

Through its Marine Stewardship Fund the Crown Estate has made a £50,000 contribution to the St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve in Berwickshire, and since 2011 the Coastal Communities Fund has seen 50 per cent of the Crown Estate’s marine asset revenue being reinvested in coastal communities, and in its first year £225,000 of funding went to Berwickshire projects.

Relations between the Crown Estate and Cove Harbour Trust, however, were difficult for a time. Providing evidence to a previous consultation on Scotland’s coastline, trust representatives said: “The Crown Estate attempted to charge Cove an annual rent for a skin of concrete protecting the pier which was supposedly resting on ‘their’ sea bed. This ‘rent’ was as much as the annual dues collected for moorings. After a decade or so of our objections and refusing to pay it was agreed it was nonsense.”

The Scottish Government plans on introducing interim management arrangements for the Crown Estate transfer to their control, to ensure a smooth transition for Crown Estate staff, tenants and customers. Consultation on the interim arrangements is now open until August 26.