Publication - Consultation paper

Planning system - promotion and mediation: draft guidance - consultation

This consultation paper seeks views on draft guidance on the promotion and use of mediation in the Scottish planning system.

74 page PDF

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74 page PDF

875.8 kB

Contents
Planning system - promotion and mediation: draft guidance - consultation
Annex C: Guidance on The Promotion and Use of Mediation - Partial Equality and Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessments

74 page PDF

875.8 kB

Annex C: Guidance on The Promotion and Use of Mediation - Partial Equality and Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessments

Background

The public sector equality duty requires the Scottish Government to assess the impact of applying a proposed new or revised policy or practice. Equality legislation covers the characteristics of: age, disability, gender reassignment, sex including pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, and sexual orientation.

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

In addition, the Scottish Government has undertaken an initial impact assessment considering issues relating to Child Rights and Wellbeing. The Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) is used to identify, research, analyse and record the impact of a proposed law or policy on children's human rights and wellbeing. It should be used on all new legislation and policy which impacts children, not just children's services.

Draft Guidance on the promotion and use of mediation

The draft guidance is part of our wider work on planning reform and implementation of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, including steps to reduce conflict, improve community engagement and build public trust in planning matters. They include the National Planning Framework, amended development planning procedures, the introduction of Local Place Plans plus guidance on both effective community engagement in local development plans and the mediation guidance.

The aim of this particular strand is to introduce guidance on the promotion and use of mediation. This is in light of the findings of the independent Review Panel charged to review the planning system, in their report ‘Empowering Planning to Deliver Great Places’ and subsequent public consultations in 2017[47].

Further details are available in the consultation paper to which this assessment is attached.

Who will it affect?

We envisage that the guidance may potentially affect those seeking to engage in the planning system, both in development planning and development management.

We recognise that the impacts of the guidance may fall differently on different groups in society. Our initial evidence would suggest that people with disabilities, children, women and ethnic minority groups for example, experience a variety of challenges in engaging with planning, such as in relation to physical mobility and access, or language and communication issues.

What might prevent the desired outcomes being achieved?

We have not identified any factors which might prevent the desired outcomes.

Framing

Results of EQIA framing exercise

It is clear from the engagement during and since the Independent Panel’s review that there is a need to improve public engagement measures. It is also clear from that work that different groups in society have different levels of engagement with the planning system.

From the evidence gathered so far, these amendments are likely to enhance the opportunities for engagement in shaping the places that people work and stay. However, whilst we believe they will generally have a positive effect, we see value in gathering further evidence.

Extent/Level of EQIA required

The potential impact on each of the protected groups has been considered using information in the Scottish Government’s Evidence Finder[48] plus additional information below.

Further information is required on the impact of the changes on each of the protected characteristics.  It is proposed to carry out consultation on the proposed guidance required to implement the policy intention and this will inform further development of the guidance.

Results of CRWIA framing exercise

The Articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the child wellbeing indicators under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 apply to all children and young people up to the age of 18, including non-citizen and undocumented children and young people.

Our work on this to date indicates that a CRWIA is required to support the development of this policy. We note that guidance suggests that a CRWIA should be undertaken where the policy will be subject to extensive consultation, including with the Scottish Parliament.

The policy will specifically support Article 12 of the UNCRC. This relates to every child having a right to express their views and have them given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity. Children should be provided with the opportunity to be heard, either directly or through a representative or appropriate body. This links to the Respected and Responsible welfare indicators. Other Articles of the UNCRC may indirectly be relevant also.

We envisage that the policy will potentially impact upon the opportunity of children and young people to become more actively engaged in the planning system. However, there is the potential for intersectional issues to effect the perception of certain groups of children and young people of engagement. Research relating to out of school groups and activities suggests this may particularly be an issue for both disabled children and older children.

We would want to gather evidence on the potential impacts on how the policy affects or could affect children and young people in practice.

Stage 2: Data and evidence gathering, involvement and consultation

Characteristic[49] Evidence gathered and Strength/quality of evidence Source Data gaps identified and action taken 
Age

Scotland’s population is ageing. In mid-2019, 19% of the population were aged 65 and over compared with 17% a decade earlier in mid-2009. Over the same period, the population aged 65 and over increased in all council areas.

Nearly 9 in 10 adults (88 per cent) in Scotland use the internet either for work or personal use, a steady increase over time from 65 per cent in 2007. Notably, there has been a significant increase in internet use amongst older adults aged 60+ (from 29 per cent to 66 per cent). There are lower rates of internet use among older adults than among younger adults. In 2019, almost all (99 per cent) adults aged 16-24 reported using the internet compared to 43 per cent of those aged 75+.

Older people were less likely to have travelled the previous day. Only 51 per cent of those aged 80 and over had travelled the previous day and 65 per cent of those aged 70 to 79.

Almost nine in 10 adults (87 per cent) aged 75 and above said they felt a very strong or fairly strong sense of belonging to their community, compared to just over seven in ten (73 per cent) of those aged between 16 and 24

There is a clear relationship between age and use of internet, with lower rates of internet use among older adults. In 2018, 100 per cent of adults aged 16 to 24 reported using the internet compared to 38 per cent of those aged 75 and over. This gap is narrowing.

The majority of young people feel they should be involved in planning in their local area and that their local councils should look at ways to support children and young people to do this.

Around six in ten of young people surveyed (58 per cent) agreed that adults were good at taking their views into account when making decisions that affect them. This was an increase from 2017, when 53 per cent agreed.

  • Boys were more positive on both questions.
  • Older children were more negative.
  • Respondents with a mental or physical health condition were less positive.

Democracy Matters to Children (2020) noted that ‘children’s paths to meaningful involvement in decision-making are currently limited and many children have limited or no experience of participation in democratic processes’. A number of local issues were identified as ones which children wanted to have a say in - this included planning and the built environment.

Mid-2019 Population Estimates Scotland (2020)[50]

Scottish Household Survey: Annual Report 2019 (2020)[51]

Travel and Transport in Scotland 2018 (2019)[52]

Scottish Household Survey: Annual Report 2018 (2019)[53]

(as above)

YoungScot survey (2017)[54]

Young people's participation in decision making: attitudes and perceptions (2020)[55]

Democracy Matters to Children (2020)[56]

Evidence would suggest that people wish to engage in planning though they are not always able to do so.

As part of the consultation on the Scottish Government’s proposals, we will be proactive in engaging with societal groups on the practical elements of supporting engagement. 

Disability

In 2011, the proportion of people in Scotland with a long-term activity-limiting health problem or disability was 20%, the same as reported in the 2001 Census.

Contains a range of recommendations (primarily aimed at England) including: - preparation of guidance on how and when to engage disabled people; - dedicated section in policy on access and inclusive design - plans not to be considered as ‘sound’ without evidence address disabled access; - permission granted only where sufficient provision for accessibility and inclusion -remove any requirement to prove immediate need for accessible housing.

97% of disabled people or those with a long-term illness considered that people should be involved in making decisions about how local public services are planned.

Through inclusive digital and offline engagement and capacity building, raise disabled people’s aspirations and opportunities to fulfil their potential, and strengthen participation and democracy.

Seventy-one per cent of adults who have some form of limiting long-term physical or mental health condition or illness reported using the internet, lower than for those who have some form of non-limiting condition or illness (90 per cent) and those who have none (94 per cent)

Scotland's 2011 Census (Release 2A, Table 8)[57]

Building for Equality: Disability and the Built Environment[58]

Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2015: Table A16[59]

Supercharged: A human catastrophe (2020)[60]

Scottish Household Survey: Annual Report 2019 (2020)

Evidence would suggest that people wish to engage in planning though they are not always able to do so.

As part of the consultation on the Scottish Government’s proposals, we will be proactive in engaging with societal groups on the practical elements of supporting engagement.

Sex

Scotland had a relatively even split between genders in 2018, with 51% females and 49% males, although this varied amongst age groups.

Women are slightly more likely than men to become involved in the planning process. This was focussed on development management.

Language barriers, lack of confidence and dominant characters can discriminate against some people during community engagement specifically women, minority ethnic groups, young and old people and people with disabilities.

Overall there was no significant difference in use of internet between genders

Do you feel able to influence planning decisions which affect your local area and how it is being developed? Findings on no influence / some influence were similar for male (61%, 35%) and female (59%, 36%)

Mid-2018 Population Estimates Scotland (2019)

Planning and Community Involvement in Scotland (2004)[61]

Hard to reach, easy to ignore (2017)[62]

Scotland's People Annual Report: Results from 2015 Scottish Household Survey (2016) (section 8.2.2)[63]

The National Trust for Scotland Heritage Observatory briefing note (2017)

Evidence would suggest that people wish to engage in planning though they are not always able to do so.

As part of the consultation on the Scottish Government’s proposals, we will be proactive in engaging with societal groups on the practical elements of supporting engagement.

Pregnancy and Maternity

We have not been able to gather any information regarding this characteristic

   
Gender Reassignment

We have not been able to gather any information regarding this characteristic

   
Sexual Orientation

As a whole, this group had no special needs or requirements when it came to planning. Their views were representative of the general population.

Consultation on the Modernisation of the Planning System with ‘seldom heard’ Groups (2009)[64]

 
Race

Language barriers, lack of confidence and dominant characters can discriminate against some people during community engagement specifically women, minority ethnic groups, young and old people and people with disabilities.

Some people from specific communities of interest and identity described finding it difficult to get involved in decisions, or having no experience of involvement at all. For example, some asylum seekers, EU citizens, foreign language groups, and some people from different ethnic minority groups described experiences of being detached from the wider community and formal decision-making organisations and forums. They did not know about local groups or understand whether and how they could get involved.

Seventy-eight per cent of those whose ethnicity was recorded as White expressed a very or fairly strong feeling of belonging compared to 71 per cent of those whose ethnicity was recorded as minority ethnic.

Accessible, affordable legal representation and or mediation should be made available for members of the Gypsy/Traveller community so that they may gain equal access to decision making within planning processes/appeals.

In 2011 Gypsy/Travellers in Scotland, compared to the population as a whole, were more likely to report a long-term health problem or disability and were more likely to report bad or very bad general health.

Hard to Reach, Easy to Ignore (2017)

Local Governance Review: analysis of responses to Democracy Matters (2019)[65]

Scottish Household Survey: Annual Report (2019)

Planning processes in Scotland: a Gypsy/Traveller perspective (2016)[66]

Gypsy/Travellers in Scotland - A Comprehensive Analysis of the 2011 Census (2015)[67]

Evidence would suggest that people wish to engage in planning though they are not always able to do so.

As part of the consultation on the Scottish Government’s proposals, we will be proactive in engaging with societal groups on the practical elements of supporting engagement.

Religion or Belief

Some people from specific communities of interest and identity described finding it difficult to get involved in decisions, or having no experience of involvement at all. For example, some asylum seekers, EU citizens, foreign language groups, and some people from different ethnic minority groups described experiences of being detached from the wider community and formal decision-making organisations and forums. They did not know about local groups or understand whether and how they could get involved

Local Governance Review: analysis of responses to Democracy Matters (2019)

Evidence would suggest that people wish to engage in planning though they are not always able to do so.

As part of the consultation on the Scottish Government’s proposals, we will be proactive in engaging with societal groups on the practical elements of supporting engagement.

Marriage and Civil Partnership Not applicable    

Stage 3: Assessing the impacts and identifying opportunities to promote equality

Having considered the data and evidence gathered, this section requires us to consider the potential impacts - negative and positive - that the policy might have on each of the protected characteristics. It is important to remember the duty is also a positive one - that we must explore whether the policy offers the opportunity to promote equality and/or foster good relations.

Do you think that the policy impacts on people because of their age?

Age Positive Negative None Reasons for your decision
Eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation X    

The aim is to have increased engagement for all sectors of society with mediation acting as one methodology available to communities.

Children may already have experience of mediation in a different context through the use of peer-to-peer mediation at school.

Advancing equality of opportunity X     As above. We will not be prescriptive about the use of either online or face to face mediations and will suggest that the method chosen is appropriate to the particular circumstances. This acknowledges that older people, amongst others, are slightly less likely to use online technologies whereas an online approach may work better with younger people.
Promoting good relations among and between different age groups X     Mediation offers an opportunity to hear views across communities. Where parties are acting on behalf of a community (such as a community council), there should be scope for it to reflect wider community views. 

Do you think that the policy impacts disabled people?

Disability Positive Negative None Reasons for your decision
Eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation X     The aim is to have increased engagement for all sectors of society with mediation acting as one methodology available to communities.
Advancing equality of opportunity X     As above. We will not be prescriptive about the use of either online or face to face mediations and will suggest that the method chosen is appropriate to the particular circumstances. This acknowledges that disabled people, amongst others, are slightly less likely to use online technologies.
Promoting good relations among and between disabled and non-disabled people X     Mediation offers an opportunity to hear views across communities. Where parties are acting on behalf of a community (such as a community council), there should be scope for it to reflect wider community views.

Do you think that the policy impacts on men and women in different ways?

Sex  Positive Negative None Reasons for your decision
Eliminating unlawful discrimination X     Data indicates women can find engagement with Planning more challenging.  The aim is to have increased engagement for all sectors of society with mediation acting as one methodology available to communities.
Advancing equality of opportunity X     As above.
Promoting good relations between men and women X     Mediation offers an opportunity to hear views across communities. Where parties are acting on behalf of a community (such as a community council), there should be scope for it to reflect wider community views.

Do you think that the policy impacts on women because of pregnancy and maternity?

Pregnancy and Maternity Positive Negative None Reasons for your decision
Eliminating unlawful discrimination     X No information available
Advancing equality of opportunity     X No information available
Promoting good relations      X No information available

Do you think your policy impacts on transsexual people?

Gender reassignment Positive Negative None Reasons for your decision
Eliminating unlawful discrimination     X No information available
Advancing equality of opportunity     X No information available
Promoting good relations      X No information available

Do you think that the policy impacts on people because of their sexual orientation?

Sexual orientation Positive Negative None Reasons for your decision
Eliminating unlawful discrimination     X No information available
Advancing equality of opportunity X     The aim is to have increased engagement for all sectors of society with mediation acting as one methodology available to communities.
Promoting good relations      X No information available

Do you think the policy impacts on people on the grounds of their race?

Race Positive Negative None Reasons for your decision
Eliminating unlawful discrimination X     The aim is to have increased engagement for all sectors of society during pre-application consultation, with consistent and transparent reporting of the pre-application consultation process (including the issues raised and what was done to address them or why they could not be addressed). 
Advancing equality of opportunity X     Evidence would suggest that the Gypsy / Traveller community would value the introduction of mediation into the planning system.
Promoting good race relations X     Mediation offers an opportunity to hear views across communities. Where parties are acting on behalf of a community (such as a community council), there should be scope for it to reflect wider community views.

Do you think the policy impacts on people because of their religion or belief?

Religion or belief Positive Negative None Reasons for your decision
Eliminating unlawful discrimination X     The aim is to have increased engagement for all sectors of society with mediation acting as one methodology available to communities.
Advancing equality of opportunity X     As above.
Promoting good relations  X     Mediation offers an opportunity to hear views for across communities. Where parties are acting on behalf of a community (such as a community council), there should be scope for it to reflect wider community views.

Do you think the policy impacts on people because of their marriage or civil partnership?

Marriage and Civil Partnership[68] Positive Negative None Reasons for your decision
Eliminating unlawful discrimination       Not assessed

Stage 4: Decision making and monitoring

Identifying and establishing any required mitigating action

Have positive or negative impacts been identified for any of the equality groups?

Improving the opportunities for a more collaborative approach to planning has the opportunity to support people in their aspirations to engage in the planning system.

Evidence would suggest that the Gypsy / Traveller community would value the introduction of mediation into the planning system.

Is the policy directly or indirectly discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010[69]?

Potentially indirectly discriminatory in terms of those groups who would find it easier or who would be more likely to engage online than at physical events, for example younger age groups. There is evidence that other groups use online tools less often than others, e.g. older age groups and disabled people.

Language barriers, lack of confidence and dominant characters can discriminate against some people during community engagement specifically women, minority ethnic groups, young and old people and people with disabilities.

If the policy is indirectly discriminatory, how is it justified under the relevant legislation? N/A
If not justified, what mitigating action will be undertaken? We will ask in the consultation about views on how the guidance can be drafted to mitigate against any barriers.

Describing how Equality Impact analysis has shaped the policy making process

The EQIA has helped highlight the potential issues which may disproportionately impact on those with particular protected characteristics. We will seek views in the forthcoming consultation as to how the guidance can mitigate any potential barriers. We will also ask how guidance may assist in addressing the challenges people have in engaging in the planning system.

Monitoring and Review

Further work is required on the measures to monitor and review the guidance.

However, we have noted that this consultation may lead to an initial iteration of the guidance and that, as practice develops, further iterations may be developed.


Contact

Email: planningmediation@gov.scot