Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Sinn Fein call for probe into Crown Estate rejected

The Assembly has rejected a Sinn Fein motion calling for an examination of the role of the Crown Estate around the coast of Northern Ireland.

Most of the revenue from the Crown Estate goes to the UK Government. The Crown Estate owns most of Northern Ireland’s foreshore and generates just over £1m per year from leasing activities, such as shellfish farming and renewable energy.

With a property portfolio encompassing many UK cityscapes, ancient forests, farms, parkland, coastline and communities, it has a total capital value of £7.3bn.

At an Assembly debate yesterday, East Antrim MLA Oliver McMullan said control of the sea beds would allow Stormont greater influence with international companies.

Jim Wells MLA said he didn’t believe the Member for East Antrim was “pending this motion out of some genuine interest in the economy of Northern Ireland”.

A Crown Estate spokesman said politics is for Stormont and Westminster and that half of its revenue is given back in the form of grants to coastal communities.

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