Effective community engagement in local development planning guidance: impact assessments

These impact assessments have informed the preparation the effective community engagement in local development planning consultation draft guidance. The assessments are being made available for comment in advance of their finalisation and finalisation of the guidance.

3. What are the Impact Assessments?

3.1. Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA). CRWIA is used to identify, research, analyse and record the impact of a proposed policy on children's human rights and wellbeing. CRWIA helps the Scottish Government consider whether it is advancing the rights of children in Scotland and protecting and promoting the wellbeing of children and young people.

3.2. CRWIA is a Ministerial duty under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and in relation to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

3.3. Equalities Impact Assessment, Including Human Rights Impact Assessment. The public sector equality duty requires the Scottish Government to assess the impact of applying proposed new legislation. Equality legislation covers the characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, sex including pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, and sexual orientation.

3.4. An Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA) aims to consider how a policy may impact, either positively or negatively, on different sectors of the population in different ways. A policy can cover activities, functions, strategies, programmes, and services or processes.

3.5. The Equality Act 2010 harmonised existing equality legislation and includes a public sector duty ('the Duty') which requires public authorities to pay due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation or any other prohibited conduct;
  • advance equality of opportunity; and
  • foster good relations between different groups – by tackling prejudice and promoting understanding.

3.6. Whilst there is not currently a specific Human Rights Impact Assessment, human rights considerations should be embedded throughout the policy making process. These considerations are set out within the EQIA.

3.7. Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA). BRIA looks at the likely costs, benefits and risks of any proposed primary or secondary legislation. It also covers voluntary regulation, codes of practice, guidance, or policy changes that may have an impact on the public, private or third sector.

3.8. The BRIA explains:

  • the reason why the Scottish Government is proposing to intervene;
  • options the Scottish Government is considering, and which one is preferred;
  • how and to what extent new policies may impact on Scottish Government, business, and on Scotland's competitiveness; and
  • the estimated costs and benefits of proposed measures.

3.9. Island Communities Impact Assessment (ICIA). Section 7 of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 provides for a duty on the Scottish Ministers that they must have regard to island communities in exercising their functions and in the development of legislation. ICIA tests any new policy, strategy or service which is likely to have an effect on an island community which is significantly different from the effect on other communities.

3.10. The 2018 Act lists the following areas that are relevant considerations for islands and islands communities:

  • depopulation;
  • economic development;
  • environmental protection;
  • health and wellbeing;
  • community empowerment;
  • transport;
  • digital connectivity;
  • fuel poverty;
  • land management; and
  • biodiversity.

3.11. Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). In Scotland, public bodies and private companies operating in a public character, such as utility companies, are required to assess, consult on, and monitor the likely impacts their plans, programmes and strategies will have on the environment. This process is known as SEA.

3.12. SEA helps to better protect the environment, aims to ensure that any development is sustainable, and increases opportunities for public participation in decision-making. It ensures that expert views are sought at various points in the preparation process from the public and the consultation authorities, who are:

  • NatureScot;
  • Scottish Environmental Protection Agency; and
  • Historic Environment Scotland.

3.13. Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment (FSD). FSD is set out in legislation as Part 1 of the Equality Act 2010 and came into force in Scotland from April 2018. The aim of the duty is to help the public sector to make better policy decisions and deliver fairer outcomes. The duty focuses on socio-economic inequality issues such as low income, low wealth, and area deprivation. FSD applies to 'decisions of a strategic nature' – these are the key, high-level choices or plans that the public sector makes.

3.14. Future Proofing Legislation. This assessment considers the impact of changing technology to help legislation remain relevant over time.


Email: communityengagementguidance@gov.scot

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