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Crown Estate should be devolved to Wales and the income spent on tackling climate change says new report

22 Feb 2022 4 minute read
Boris Johnson. Picture by Cancillería Argentina (CC BY 2.0). Gwynt y Môr wind-farm and the Conwy river. Picture by Dunnock_D (CC BY-NC 2.0).

A committee of Senedd Members has called for the devolution of the management of the Crown Estate and its assets in Wales.

In a new report published today, the Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure Committee recommended that the Crown Estate be devolved and the income spent on tackling climate change.

They called for the Welsh Government to set out its plans, including timescales, for devolving the estate which controls Wales’ seabed out to 12 nautical miles.

It is currently owned by the Queen, who gets 25% of the profits, with the rest going to the UK Treasury.

“We note that the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru supports the devolution of the management of the Crown Estate and its assets in Wales,” the report says.

“We believe that income derived from Welsh marine assets should be returned to Wales, so it can be spent on public policies that support the citizens of Wales and policies that help Wales achieve its net-zero targets.

“This is the situation in Scotland, and we see no good reason why similar arrangements cannot apply to Wales.”

The UK Government has so far resisted any attempt to devolve the Crown Estate to Wales, despite it being devolved to Scotland.

After being questioned on the subject in the House of Commons, the Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said: “The relationship that the Crown Estate enjoys with the UK Government, the Welsh Government and stakeholders works very well.

“I do not think there is any public interest or appetite for altering the terms of that arrangement.”

A petition has been set up calling for the devolution of the Crown Estate to Wales.

‘Delicate balance’

In their report, the Senedd Committee also criticised the Welsh Government’s plan for Wales’ marine renewable energy and conservation as “evidence-lacking” and “out of date”.

They called on the Welsh Government to update the plan, saying that care needed to be taken that marine energy developments did not negatively impact Wales’ ecosystems.

The report calls on the Welsh Government to commission an external analysis of their plan especially given the expected growth in marine renewable energy over the next few years to support Wales’ transition to net zero.

The plan, which sets out the Welsh Government’s long-term approach to development in the marine environment, was only adopted in 2019 but it has been criticised by environmental organisations for not doing enough to protect marine ecosystems.

Llyr Gruffydd, Chair of the Climate Change Committee, said: “Wales has over 2,000km of coastline and our marine environment is home to some of the most biologically diverse habitats and species in Europe.

“This coastline also provides huge marine energy opportunities, with generating capacity significant enough to help Wales reach its net zero target.”

But he added that “the Welsh Government’s current marine policy is out of date and lacks the evidence that is necessary to create effective policy in the twenty-first century”.

“There is a delicate balance between capitalising on Wales’ marine resources – waves, winds and tides – while simultaneously protecting and enhancing our ecosystems.

“Unfortunately, if the Welsh Government don’t follow our recommendations, we could be at real risk of getting that balance wrong.”

The inquiry also looked at the Welsh Government’s management of marine conservation sites (known as Marine Protected Areas).

To the Committee’s frustration, it found no evidence to suggest that circumstances have improved over the last four years, with marine specialists testifying to the inquiry that there had been years of inaction.


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Penderyn
Penderyn
7 months ago

500 years too late

Last edited 7 months ago by Penderyn
Gareth
Gareth
7 months ago

Just the same as the several reports into the devolving of the justice system, from the Lords to the commons to the Senedd. They all conclude we need to control these things, but it is only at the whim of the UK Gov that these things get decided. We need to make this happen , and only independence will get it done.

Grayham Jones
7 months ago

It should be run by welsh people only not incomers so all the money stays in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

R W
R W
7 months ago

The idiotic and illogical refusal of the Tory Reich in Westminster to give us control of the Crown Estate has turned into a great recruiting tool for the indy movement. Perhaps we should thank them for that!!

Non DAVIES
Non DAVIES
7 months ago

Plaid’s bid to secure monies accrued from the Crown Estate for Wales is tokenism unless similar action is taken in regard to the exploitation of Wales by external wind developers at our expense via Future Wales Plan 2040 by the placing of 250m high turbines within 700 metres of homes across Wales. Bypassing local democracy ….money and energy flowing out of Wales…- sounds familiar —Hang on though – isn’t it Welsh Government who is facilitating this sellout? .and a Plaid Senedd Member chairing the Climate Change Committee ‘scrutinising’ the Policy ?…awkward..

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago
Reply to  Non DAVIES

Sounds like tokenism all round, with a big helping of virtue signaling on top …. nothing new there. It will take wholesale change of the 60 in the Chamber to get priorities reappraised and reset to generate real added value for our communities.

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