Local Development Plan evidence report – defining Gypsies and Travellers: consultation analysis
Analysis of responses to the consultation 'Local development plan evidence report - defining Gypsies and Travellers' which ran from December 2022 to February 2023.
This consultation sought views on a definition of 'Gypsies and Travellers' for the specific purposes of section 16B of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 ("the 1997 Act"), as amended by the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019.
Local Development Plans (LDPs) set out how places should change into the future; where development should and should not happen. The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 introduced a new stage in the preparation of LDPs - an evidence report. Under section 16B of the 1997 Act, planning authorities are required to produce an evidence report which, among other things, contains;
- a summary of action taken by planning authorities to meet accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers, and
- a statement on the steps taken by the planning authority in preparing the report to seek the views of Gypsies and Travellers.
The purpose of defining "Gypsies and Travellers" in regulations is to enable the Scottish Government and planning authorities to support the Gypsy and Traveller communities better. The Scottish Ministers will make regulations to specify the meaning of Gypsies and Travellers for the purpose of evidence reports. This consultation helped shape the definition included within regulations. This definition only relates to the requirements of section 16B of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.
The consultation asked seven questions related to the Scottish Government's proposed definition of 'Gypsies and Travellers', the way councils should better involve the Gypsy/Traveller community in planning consultations and processes, and the impact of this (or any) definition on business and groups of protected characteristics to inform the associated impact assessments. In preparation of the consultation, Scottish Government officials participated in a planning workshop at a Gypsy/Traveller community event in November 2022. The Planning, Architecture and Regeneration Division took the opportunity of this event, which is part of a series hosted regularly to engage Gypsy/Traveller community members with government and third sector organisations, to have early engagement on the proposed draft definition and gain insight from communities. Once the consultation was published, Scottish Government officials also took part in a number of in-person engagement sessions to gain views on the proposed definition from Gypsy/Traveller community members.
There were 41 respondents to the online consultation. Of these respondents, 18 were individuals, 15 were planning authorities and eight were either third sector organisations, housing/planning related organisations, Gypsy/Traveller support charities or Travelling Showpeople representative bodies (Annex A provides a list of respondents). A total of 23 people participated in the in-person engagement sessions. An analysis of the discussions at these in-person engagement sessions can be found in section 6 of this report.
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