Publication - Impact assessment

The right to buy land to further sustainable development: EQIA

Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) for legislation to bring into force part 5 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016.

45 page PDF

418.5 kB

45 page PDF

418.5 kB

Contents
The right to buy land to further sustainable development: EQIA
Stage 2: Data and evidence gathering, involvement and consultation

45 page PDF

418.5 kB

Stage 2: Data and evidence gathering, involvement and consultation

Include here the results of your evidence gathering (including framing exercise), including qualitative and quantitative data and the source of that information, whether national statistics, surveys or consultations with relevant equality groups.

Characteristic[1] Evidence gathered and Strength/quality of evidence Source Data gaps identified and action taken
AGE Issues raised during framing exercise:

  • 95% of population is now online. Knowledge of how to use the internet is now common up to the age of 75 but people above that age may struggle to use computers.
  • RoS provides a free telephone helpline that is available to people who are unsure of how to view or search the register.
  • RoS may provide a service whereby RoS staff will carry out a search of the register on request, depending on the offering of this service RoS may consider if a fee would be charged for this service.
  • 16 and 17 year olds can hold title to land in Scotland.
  • 16 and 17 year olds can be named on electoral register
  • No members of a community body will be named within the Part 5 register. However, the names of each member (including any that may be aged 16 or 17) will be provided on lists sent to a land owner or heritable creditor.
  • No age data/birth dates will be included in the Part 5 register, only names and contact addresses.
Framing exercise As far as we are aware, no data has been collected on age in relation to community right to buy schemes. Results from the Part 5 consultation provided no additional information relating to this protected characteristic.

Concerns were raised by one stakeholder about the abilities of elderly land owners, whose land is subject to a Part 5 community right to buy application, to fully understand the requirements of Part 5 processes, and the consequences of certain actions (for example, the failure to reply to a Part 5 request from a community group would allow the community group to apply to Scottish Ministers to buy the land). The Scottish Government will work with stakeholder groups to try to ensure that Part 5 processes are well understood. But it must be understood that the legislation will apply equally to all, regardless of their knowledge of the legislation.

While no birth dates are collected as part of the Part 5 application process, it is possible that the names of 16 and 17 year old members of a community body would be provided to a land owner or heritable creditor.
DISABILITY Issues raised during framing exercise:

  • The Part 5 register does not capture data on disability.
  • The register will be online but there is a customer service centre available.
  • Hearing/sight loss provision is made by RoS in relation to their website (accessing info on the RoS website is suitable for various types of disability).
  • User testing of IT applications ensure that these are suitable to be used by as many people as possible. Zoom text and screen readers etc. available. Info probably only available through website.
  • Applicants will need to add info via the website in order to register.
  • A customer service centre number is available for those who find using computers challenging and the RoS customer service centres in Edinburgh and Glasgow are also accessible to the public.
Framing exercise As far as we are aware, no data has been collected on disability in relation to community right to buy schemes. Stakeholders did not raise any concerns or provide further information relating to this protected characteristic in their responses to the Part 5 consultation. No impacts on this protected characteristic have been documented in relation to previous right to buy schemes.
SEX Issue raised during framing exercise:

  • Gender is not captured by the register but spouses are mentioned (described as spouses so not gender specific)
Framing exercise As far as we are aware, no data has been collected on sex in relation to community right to buy schemes. In responding to the Part 5 consultation, stakeholders did not raise any concerns or provide further information relating to this protected characteristic in their responses to the Part 5 consultation. No impacts on this protected characteristic have been documented in relation to previous right to buy schemes.
PREGNANCY AND MATERNITY There is no evidence to suggest that pregnancy and maternity will be impacted at all by bringing Part 5 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 into force. Therefore this protected characteristic was not discussed during the framing exercise. Framing exercise Stakeholders did not raise any concerns or provide further information relating to this protected characteristic in their responses to the Part 5 consultation. No impacts on this protected characteristic have been documented in relation to previous right to buy schemes.
GENDER REASSIGNMENT Issues raised during framing exercise:

  • Gender reassignment data is not captured by the register aside from what can be inferred from an individual’s name.
  • The documents the register contains are ‘frozen in time’ and cannot be updated to reflect name changes.
Framing exercise As far as we are aware, no data has been collected on gender reassignment in relation to community right to buy schemes. Stakeholders did not raise any concerns or provide further information relating to this protected characteristic in their responses to the Part 5 consultation. No impacts on this protected characteristic have been documented in relation to previous right to buy schemes within Scotland.
SEXUAL ORIENTATION Issues raised during framing exercise:

  • Information on sexual orientation/spouses will not be captured by the Part 5 register
  • There have been no issues raised to date in relation to naming in other Right to Buy schemes
Framing exercise As far as we are aware, no data has been collected on sexual orientation in relation to community right to buy schemes. Stakeholders did not raise any concerns or provide further information relating to this protected characteristic in their responses to the Part 5 consultation. No impacts on this protected characteristic have been documented in relation to previous right to buy schemes within Scotland.
RACE/ ETHNICITY Issues raised during framing exercise:

  • The Part 5 register will not record ethnicity
  • There is a potential for language barrier (the register is only accessible in English and applications forms, notices and guidance etc. are also only available in English)
  • RoS are part of the SG Framework and can access translation services. The public can contact RoS directly through their customer service centre, who would then be able to hold a conversation through interpretation services though this service may require booking. As with any activity involving a number of individuals, it is possible for discrimination to occur, and this may be intentional or unintentional. However, we have no evidence that Part 5 creates any particular risk, and do not believe that it does. We assess the risk as low and note that it has to be weighed against the positive opportunities that community engagement offers for members of communities from diverse backgrounds to work together, which can help break down barriers.
Framing exercise As far as we are aware, no data has been collected on the ethnicity of landowners in Scotland or on ethnicities included within community body trusts etc.

Stakeholders did not raise any concerns or provide further information relating to this protected characteristic in their responses to the Part 5 consultation. No impacts on this protected characteristic have been documented in relation to previous right to buy schemes within Scotland.
RELIGION OR BELIEF Issues raised during framing exercise:

  • The Church of Scotland who are concerned they may be disproportionately affected due to the amount of land and buildings they own.
  • There is, however, a public interest test within Part 5, and this would be a consideration where a church or associated building is currently being used for its intended purpose, related to the religious needs of the congregation.
  • It will not usually be possible to infer an individual’s religion from their data on the Part 5 register. The exception may be where there was a deliberate religious title (Bishop, Father, Sister, Rabbi etc.), but in such cases, the person’s identity would already be public.
Framing exercise As far as we are aware, no data has been collected on religion or belief in relation to community right to buy schemes.

The Church of Scotland raised concerns in their response to the Part 5 consultation about potential impacts of the policy on religious organisations owning property across Scotland.

However, stakeholders did not raise any other concerns or provide further information relating to this protected characteristic in their responses to the Part 5 consultation.

No impacts on this protected characteristic have been documented in relation to previous right to buy schemes within Scotland.
MARRIAGE AND CIVIL PARTNERSHIP

(the Scottish Government does not require assessment against this protected characteristic unless the policy or practice relates to work, for example HR policies and practices - refer to Definitions of Protected Characteristics document for details)
There is no evidence to suggest that marriage and civil partnership will be impacted at all by bringing Part 5 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 into force. Therefore this protected characteristic was not discussed during the framing exercise. Framing exercise As far as we are aware, no data has been collected on marriage and civil partnership in relation to community right to buy schemes. Stakeholders did not raise any concerns or provide further information relating to this protected characteristic in their responses to the Part 5 consultation. No impacts on this protected characteristic have been documented in relation to previous right to buy schemes within Scotland.
SOCIO ECONOMIC STATUS Issues raised during framing exercise:

  • Intuitively it might be inferred that communities with more access to money, resources and expertise, would be able to make better use of right to buy legislation. However, there have not been any proper studies illuminating the socio-economic status of member of communities using/successfully using right to buy legislation.
  • Initial costs of engaging in a Part 5 process, for instance in organising a community ballot, may be disproportionately high for communities which have limited financial resources or other sorts of resources (such as time and experience).
  • There may be (cost and time) barriers encountered with obtaining/ organising the documentation required for an application, e.g. maps, ballots, business plans
  • The owners of land or tenants’ interests may or may not have significant money/resources at their disposal.
  • Communities can seek support with their Community Right to Buy (CRtB) applications from organisations such as the Community Ownership Support Service (COSS) and Development Trusts Assocaition Scotland (DTAS).
  • The high market value of land in some areas could be a barrier to the acquisition of land by community groups.
  • There will be no charges associated with the application process or in relation to registering or accessing the ‘Register of Applications by Community Bodies to Buy Land’. RoS provides a free telephone helpline that is available to people who are unsure of how to view or search the register. RoS may provide a service whereby RoS staff will carry out a search of the register on request, depending on the offering of this service RoS may consider if a fee would be charged for this service.
Framing exercise As far as we are aware, there have been no proper studies looking at the connection between socio economic status and community right to buy schemes.

The Church of Scotland raised concerns in their response to the Part 5 consultation about potential impacts of the policy on properties serving as temporary accommodation for homeless people. Consultation on Part 5 did not provide any further information relating to this protected characteristic or raise any additional concerns.

Contact

Email: LandReform@gov.scot