Petition demands control of royal profits from £500m Crown Estate is transferred to Wales
A petition has been launched which demands that control of royal profits from the £500m Crown Estate is transferred to Wales.
The UK Government has repeatedly refused to devolve power over the Crown Estate assets in Wales to the Senedd, despite having given control over its holdings in Scotland to the Scottish Parliament.
The Crown Estate, which holds the rights to seabeds around the British Isles, is a collection of lands and holdings in the United Kingdom belonging to the British monarch.
However, powers over the management of Crown Estate in Wales are still held in Westminster, and the revenues go directly to the UK Government’s Treasury.
The value of the Crown Estate Wales’ renewable assets grew from £49.2m in 2020 to £549.1m in 2021.
The petition says: “The Crown Estate, which holds the rights to seabeds around the British Isles, is a collection of lands and holdings in the United Kingdom belonging to the British monarch.
“However, powers over the management of Crown Estate in Wales are still held in Westminster, and the revenues proceed directly to the UK Government’s Treasury. Control of the crown estate has been already been transferred over to the Scottish Government back in 2016.
“The value of the Crown Estate Wales’ renewable assets grew from £49.2m in 2020 to £549.1m in 2021.
“This is money that would enable Wales to build and develop our own Welsh renewable energy industry rather than selling off our assets to the highest foreign bidder.
“Remember this has already happened in Scotland why are we treated differently?”
Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville-Roberts recently told the Westminster-appointed Welsh Secretary Simon Hart there was a clear majority in the Senedd to support the principle of Wales having the same powers as Scotland over the Crown Estate.
But Simon Hart responded to say that ‘”frankly, it is a case of, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
“The relationship that the Crown Estate enjoys with the UK Government, the Welsh Government and stakeholders works very well,” he said.
“I do not think there is any public interest or appetite for altering the terms of that arrangement.”
Speaking at Westminster, Liz Saville Roberts had said that Plaid Cymru’s co-operation agreement with the Welsh Government agreed that further powers were needed to support our path to net zero— “specifically on the management of the Crown Estate and its assets in Wales”.
“Given that there is now a clear majority in the Senedd to support the principle of Wales having the same powers, remember, as there are regarding the Crown Estate of Scotland, will the Minister also support my Bill to ensure that the profits of offshore wind go to the people of Wales?”
The First Minister Mark Drakeford has said transferring control of the Crown Estate to Wales is “definitely an idea we should take seriously”, as he spoke boosting Wales’ aspirations of becoming a world leader in renewable energy.
Drakeford also pointed out that control of the Crown Estate is is already “devolved to Scotland”.
He told the Guardian: “Wales’ big contribution to a carbon-neutral future is to use the natural assets we have to be at the forefront of renewable energy production, whether that is from wind or waves or water.
“Geography is on our side. If you’re on the west side of the UK, you have the prevailing winds. We are surrounded on three sides by water.”
On devolving power over the Crown Estate to Wales he said: “It’s definitely an idea we should take seriously. The crown estate is devolved in Scotland.
“The Scottish government do have levers they are able to use that are not directly available to us. In Scotland it’s a direct tool the government is able to deploy.”