Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian and a member of Holyrood’s Devolution committee, today pressed Scottish Secretary David Mundell on the UK Conservative Government’s plans to resist devolving control of Fort Kinnaird retail park in Edinburgh.
The Scotland Bill aims to devolve the management and revenue of the Crown Estate in Scotland but the UK Government is proposing a complex transfer scheme managed by the Treasury which exempts “property, rights or interests held by a limited partnership”.
Fort Kinnaird is the only land held by the Crown in partnership, so under the current proposals would become an island of Crown land in Scotland run from London with profits still flowing to the UK Treasury.
Alison Johnstone MSP said:
“Fort Kinnaird is a money-maker for the Treasury and it’s notable that the UK Government wants to exempt it from devolution of the Crown Estate as agreed by the Smith Commission. It’s simply not credible for the Scottish Secretary to say he doesn’t accept that this arrangement is overly-complex.
“I’m sure most of us in the Edinburgh area familiar with Fort Kinnaird will find it ludicrous that it is destined to become a satellite of the Treasury rather than under Scottish control like the rest of Crown Estate land in Scotland. It is illogical and inconsistent, and it cannot go unresolved.”