Annex F: Island Communities Impact Assessment
We consider that the proposed changes will deliver positive benefits for Island Communities. Of the proposals we are bringing forward we consider that Digital Communication, Agriculture and Peatland restoration will be of particular benefit to the islands.
Our proposals will allows providers to update their existing infrastructure with more up to date versions or install new more advanced technologies which will improve coverage and connectivity for some of our most remote communities.
Our proposals are intended to support the rural economy and complement wider Scottish Government initiatives to support Scotland's rural economy and promote rural repopulation. Amongst other things, our proposals may help to support succession planning for farms, economic diversification and sustainable communities in rural areas.
Peatlands cover more than 20% of Scotland's land area including many of the islands. Healthy peat plays a vital role in carbon storage and combating the effects of climate change, and in maintaining Scotland's water quality and rich biodiversity. Peatlands reduce flood risk and support farming and crofting. They are also part of the wild landscapes that attract tourists to Scotland.
During the consultation period we will engage with Island Authorities to gather evidence about the impact of our proposals on Islands Communities with a view to completing the Islands Impact Assessment which will accompany the amendments to the General Permitted Development Order.