Publication - Consultation paper

Local development planning - regulations and guidance consultation: part D - interim impact assessments

Published: 17 Dec 2021

Part D of the local development planning - regulations and guidance consultation includes the following impact assessments: strategic environmental, business and regulatory, equalities, fairer Scotland duty, child rights and wellbeing and island communities.

Local development planning - regulations and guidance consultation: part D - interim impact assessments
Interim Equalities Impact Assessment, covering human rights (EQIA)

Interim Equalities Impact Assessment, covering human rights (EQIA)

Description of Policy

Title of Policy / Strategy / Legislation:

Consultation on proposed regulations and draft guidance relating to the changes made to local development planning through the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, which amended the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.

Minister:

Tom Arthur MSP, Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth

Lead Official:

Fiona Simpson, Chief Planner, Planning & Architecture Division

SG Officials Involved in EQIA:

Andy Kinnaird, Team Lead – Spatial Planning Policy & Environment

Carrie Thomson, Principal Planner – Development Planning

Directorate:

Local Government and Communities

New policy and/or legislation:

Following consultation and consideration of views, Scottish Government will lay regulations before the Scottish Parliament to provide further detail on the legislative framework for the preparation of local development plans. It will also publish guidance to provide advice to stakeholders on implementing the legislative requirements.

Introduction

84. 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 protected characteristics of: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex (gender) and sexual orientation. An equality impact assessment (EQIA) aims to consider how a policy may impact, either positively or negatively, on different sectors of the population in different ways.

85. Local Development Plans (LDPs) set out how our local places will change into the future, including where development should and shouldn't happen. It is a legal requirement for planning authorities to prepare LDPs. They form part of the statutory 'development plan' and will, alongside the National Planning Framework, be the basis for all decisions on planning applications.

86. The Local Development Planning Regulations and Guidance consultation seeks views on the secondary legislative requirements and the guidance to stakeholders on implementing the future local development plan system. Further background is set out in the accompanying consultation documents.

Screening

Policy aim

87. The proposed Local Development Planning Regulations and Draft Guidance are part of our wider work on planning reform and implementing the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 (the 2019 Act). They should be viewed within the context of the overarching provisions on LDPs as set out in the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act, 1997, as amended by the 2019 Act.

88. There is strong support for a plan-led planning system in Scotland. Our ongoing programme of planning reform seeks to strengthen and simplify LDPs. We want to refocus plans on the outcomes that they deliver for people and places, rather than the preparation process. We want plans to be informed by consultation and collaboration so that they are relevant, and accessible and interest people. We want this new approach to LDPs to result in new style plans which support the management and use of land in the long term public interest.

89. These aims support the 'purpose of planning' that was introduced by the 2019 Act and relates to development planning, of which LDPs are a part. The Act defines the purpose as: 'planning is to manage the development and use of land in the long term public interest'.

90. Our aims for LDPs contribute to the following national outcomes contained in the National Performance Framework:

  • We live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe.
  • We have a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy.
  • We value, enjoy, protect and enhance our environment.
  • We are healthy and active.

Who will it affect?

91. Primary legislation requires that development planning, which includes LDPs, manage the development and use of land in the long-term public interest. LDPs focus on the future of the places where we all live, work, learn and play. How LDPs are prepared and what they then contain affects everyone and how we experience the places around us. The regulations and guidance that instruct and guide preparation therefore also have the potential to affect everyone.

92. In providing advice on the implementation of legislative requirements, the draft guidance refers to a range of societal groups including children and young people (particularly school pupils, youth councillors and youth parliament representatives), older people, disabled people, Gypsy/Travellers, plus community bodies and community councils as well as the public at large. The guidance also highlights the Public Sector Equality Duty and the requirements for authorities.

93. The public consultation will seek views on the proposed regulations and guidance, and will seek views on this interim EQIA and any information that would assist in finalising the assessment. An interim Island Communities Impact Assessment (ICIA), Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) and Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment have also been undertaken and will be consulted on. Whilst there is no formal assessment process for the consideration of Human Rights, these have been included in this Interim EQIA.

What might prevent the desired outcomes being achieved?

94. The proposed regulations and guidance look to implement the provisions of the primary legislation. As many procedures are already set out in the Act, we have worked to the principle that regulations be kept to the minimum necessary. This should reduce further requirements and complexity, which could prevent outcomes being achieved.

95. We have instead set out the detail of Ministers' expectations for the implementation of the 2019 Act in guidance. Being clear on expectations will support the intended outcomes being achieved, rather than leaving key aspects open to variation in interpretation and resulting in outcomes not being achieved.

96. During the progress of planning reform, a key issue raised has been around resources for implementation. Whilst the reform work stream on fees and performance was paused during the pandemic lockdown, this has now recommenced. As noted above, we have proposed keeping regulations to the minimum needed, preventing unnecessary requirements and while regulations will apply consistently across Scotland, the guidance will provide for flexibility to local circumstances to determine what is appropriate for particular areas and communities. This will enable priorities to be identified in order for outcomes to be achieved.

Stage 1: Framing

97. The Scottish Government's Planning and Architecture Division has led on the preparation of the regulations and guidance. A collaborative approach was adopted in developing them and a broad range of stakeholders have provided input to their preparation.

Human Rights

98. The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is a binding international agreement which sets out basic human rights. Key rights relevant to the proposed regulations and draft guidance relate to a right to free expression, a right to free association, and a right not to be discriminated against. The Human Rights Act (HRA) incorporates the ECHR rights into UK law.

99. Scotland's National Performance Framework includes the human rights outcome – 'We respect, protect and fulfil human rights and live free from discrimination'. One of the indicators of this relates to 'influence over local decisions' and is measured as the percentage of people who agree with the statement "I can influence decisions affecting my local area". The Scottish Household Survey provides data for this: it shows that in 2019, 17.8% of people agreed with the statement, down from 20.1% in 2018.

100. Participation is an important underlying principle in applying a human rights based approach. The consultation documents seek to implement the provisions of the 2019 Act, which require views of the public at large and particular groups to be sought and reported on. There are provisions for regulations to identify others who are to be consulted or who's views are to be sought in relation to the Evidence Report, the Proposed Plan, the Development Plan Scheme and the Delivery Programme. The proposals do not look to prescribe any other persons in regulations. The 2019 Act strengthened requirements for preparing Development Plan Schemes, in that the planning authority must seek the views of the public at large on the content of the Participation Statement. We expect this will include seeking views on who should be engaged at different stages, and on the best approach to involving people. This provides an locally tailored approach to participation in matters affecting local decisions.

101. The 2019 Act provides for a meaning of 'Gypsies and Travellers' to be specified in regulations. The consultation indicates that we propose to hold a separate consultation on this matter. This will enable the targeted involvement of the Gypsy/Traveller community and the explanation of the specific matters associated with this requirement.

102. In providing advice on implementing the 2019 Act, the draft guidance outlines those who should participate in preparing LDPs. Given the range of matters the LDP covers the breadth of interest can be substantial. Providing advice in guidance therefore enables a more comprehensive approach that covers the minimum legislative requirements and identifies others that can be involved as appropriate to local issues and circumstances. The guidance refers that authorities should take into account who may be directly, or indirectly impacted by proposals, and provide opportunities for a diverse range of people to express their views (Draft Guidance, paragraph 23).

Engagement

103. Collaboration has informed the preparation of the consultation on the proposals for regulations and draft guidance. It follows on from the extensive engagement undertaken prior to the Planning (Scotland) Bill being considered by the Scottish Parliament.

104. Following the passage of the 2019 Act, four working groups were convened to support the Transforming Planning in Practice programme, with one group focussing on Development Planning. It comprised over 30 individuals from across sectors: the public sector, including Heads of Planning Scotland and other national agencies; the private sector, including Homes for Scotland, Scottish Property Federation, Scottish Renewables and Scottish Planning Consultants Forum; the community and environmental sectors, including PAS, a community council and Scottish Environment LINK; professional institutes, including the Royal Town Planning Institute, Institute of Civil Engineers and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; and other relevant organisations.

105. The larger group divided into three subgroups to explore the following areas in more detail:

  • Scope and content of future LDPs,
  • Procedures for preparing LDPS, and
  • The detail of the Evidence Report & Gate Check.

106. The engagement took place during the period of restrictions due to the pandemic. As such discussions were held digitally via online platforms.

Initial Findings Summary

107. This is an interim EQIA and is not intended to be a definitive statement or a full assessment of impacts. It does however, present preliminary and indicative impacts that will require further consideration by the Scottish Government to inform the decision making process on the regulations and guidance for local development plans after the consultation has taken place and prior to them being finalised.

108. In this interim EQIA we look at published evidence available and gathered so far under the protected characteristics as listed within the Equality Act 2010. It is important to note that the protected characteristics listed are not independent of each other and some people may have to deal with complex and interconnected issues related to disadvantage at any one time.

109. Initial reflections indicate that the proposals may potentially have an impact on some people and/or communities, directly or indirectly, and in different ways. This includes people with protected characteristics and the reflection has identified a range of potential impacts.

110. The evidence relating to age provides an initial indication that older people have stronger feelings of belonging to their community and they want action to ensure that they have access to opportunities to remain actively engaged with and involved in, their communities. Whilst there has been a significant increase in internet use amongst older adults aged 60+ (from 29% to 66%) there are lower rates of internet use among older adults than among younger adults. It was noted that the strongest desire to participate in local decision making was shown by those aged 25 to 34 and that many children have limited or no experience of participation in democratic processes.

111. The evidence relating to disability provides an initial indication that there is an equal proportion (30%) of adults with long term illness or disability living in rural areas compared to urban areas. It also highlights that use of the internet is lower for adults who have some form of limiting long-term physical or mental health condition or illness (71%) than for those who have some form of non-limiting condition or illness (90%) and those who have none (94%).

112. The evidence relating to sex / gender provides an initial indication that whilst women can find it more difficult to engage in planning processes, they are slightly more likely than men to become involved, particularly in development management. Evidence also highlighted that there was no significant difference in use of internet between genders. More recent evidence shows that women have better cultural participation and sense of community belonging and they are somewhat more likely than men to say that they have a very strong feeling of belonging to their community.

113. The evidence relating to sexual orientation provides an initial indication that as a whole, this group had no special needs or requirements when it came to planning: that their views were representative of the general population. However, more recent research and guidance suggests that our understanding of the needs of marginalised groups is developing.

114. The evidence relating to race provides an initial indication that a larger percentage (78%) of those whose ethnicity was recorded as white expressed a very or fairly strong feeling of belonging compared to those whose ethnicity was recorded as minority ethnic (71%). It highlighted that for minority ethnic groups, language barriers, lack of confidence and dominant characters can have a negative impact on their engagement. Evidence relating specifically to Gypsy/Travellers indicated that they want to be consulted about where sites should be, that they should be part of the planning process to allow a say on what type of sites and facilities are wanted, and there should be more opportunities to take part in decision making and for voices to be heard.

115. The evidence relating to religion / belief provides an initial indication that the percentage of adults who agreed that they could influence decisions affecting their local area was similar for all religious groups – Other Religion (25%), Christians (20%) and No Religion (21%).

116. The process for preparing LDPs influences what they then contain. The 2019 Act placed greater emphasis on the evidence to support plan making and the involvement of the public at large and specific groups in order to strengthen plans. Decisions on planning applications are made based on the content of the plans, and this then affects how the places we experience change into the future.

Extent / Level of EQIA Required

117. The potential impact on each of the protected groups has been considered using the information in the Scottish Government's Equality Evidence Finder and other relevant sources.

118. Views on the interim EQIA and a request for additional information will be sought through the public consultation. This will inform further development of the regulations and guidance and support continued regard to eliminating discrimination, promoting equality of opportunity and fostering good relations.

Data and Evidence Gathering

119. This section outlines the evidence gathered to date.

Characteristic[1] Evidence gathered and strength/quality of evidence Source

Age

Household Projections for Scotland (2018-based) noted that over the entire 25-year projection period, the number of households is projected to increase by 10% to 2.71 million by 2043. It also notes that Scotland's population is ageing. The number of people aged 65 and over is increasing much faster than the number of children and younger adults.

Older people have stronger feelings of belonging to their community: In 2019, almost 9 in 10 adults (86%) aged 60 and above said they felt a very or fairly strong sense of belonging to their community, compared to 7 in 10 (70%) of those aged between 16 and 39.

A Fairer Scotland for Older People: Framework for action noted that older people want action to ensure that they have access to opportunities to remain actively engaged with and involved in, their communities.

The strongest desire to participate in local decision making was shown by those aged 25 to 34, with 41% saying they would like to have greater involvement with decisions affecting their local area compared to 29% for those aged 60-74 and 16% for those 75 and above.

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% agreed.

  • Boys were more positive on both questions.
  • Older children, for example pupils in S6, 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.

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

Older people are less likely to use the internet (especially those 75+).

Household Projections for Scotland (2018-based) (2020)

Scottish Household Survey 2019

A Fairer Scotland for Older People 2019

Scottish Household Survey 2019

YoungScot survey (2017)

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

Democracy Matters to Children (2020)

Scottish Household Survey: Annual Report 2019 (2020)

Inequalities by age in the context of Covid-19 (2020)

Disability

In 2019, there was a roughly equal proportion (30%) of adults with long term illness or disability living in rural areas compared to urban areas. This proportion is despite the fact there is a higher proportion of older people living in rural areas and the prevalence of disability and long term limiting increased with age.

7.7% of the adult population had a long standing illness, health problem or disability that means they found walking for at least 10 minutes difficult to manage on their own. The percentage was 4.7% for using a bus, and 3.6% for using a train.

Disabled people are more likely to live in a household in poverty, more likely to live in social rented housing, and are less likely to have access to green and blue spaces.

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%) and those who have none (94%)

Scottish Household Survey 2018

Transport and Travel in Scotland 2011

Inequalities by disability in the context of Covid-19 (2020)

Scottish Household Survey: Annual Report 2019 (2020)

Sex / Gender

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

Women can find it more difficult to engage in planning processes since they are more likely to provide unpaid care and the timing and places of consultation may not recognise caring responsibilities.

Women from some minority ethnic groups may not wish to attend mixed gender consultation meetings.

Studies by the Women's Design Service show an under-representation of disabled women in consultation processes.

Inequalities associated with women's movement through, and enjoyment of, the built environment can stem from society's care dependency – linked to safety concerns with public transport, lack of public surveillance in town centres and inadequate street lighting.

In 2017 COSLA noted that 29% of Scotland's 1227 councillors are women. It also notes that other key parts of our communities are underrepresented.

Although the report and recommendations do not make a direct link with planning and the built environment, note should be taken of the following:

  • Women have better cultural participation and sense of community belonging. Women are somewhat more likely than men to say that they have a very strong feeling of belonging to their community (38% vs 34%).
  • More women (28%) than men (25%) volunteer for groups or organisations.

Men and women were almost equally likely to have travelled the previous day in 2019. 74% of men travelled the previous day compared to 73% of women.

A slightly higher proportion of men walk almost every day. 24% of men walked as a means of transport on 6-7 days in the last week in 2019, compared to 20% of women. A higher proportion of men cycle. 7% of men had cycled at least once as a means of transport in the last week compared to 3% of women.

There was no difference in internet use between genders for young age groups, although there is some variation in use amongst older age groups. For example, men aged 75 and over were 11 percentage points more likely to use the internet than women.

Planning and Community Involvement in Scotland (2004)

Royal Town Planning Institute, Good Practice Note 7: Gender and Spatial Planning (2007)

Royal Town Planning Institute, Women in Planning (Part II) (2021)

Referenced in the Stage 2 EQIA accompanying the Planning Bill (2019)

First Minister's National Advisory Council on Women and Girls 2019 Report and Recommendations (2020)

Transport and Travel in Scotland 2019

Transport and Travel in Scotland 2019

Scottish Household Survey (2016)

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.

However, more recent research and guidance including in the World Bank's Handbook for Gender-Inclusive Urban Planning and Design (2020) suggests that our understanding of the needs of marginalised groups is developing.

Consultation on the Modernisation of the Planning System with 'seldom heard' Groups (2009)

World Bank Handbook for Gender Inclusive Urban Planning and Design (2020)

Race

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.

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.

Language barriers, lack of confidence and dominant characters can discriminate against some people during community engagement. Minority ethnic groups were noted as particularly experiencing these issues along with several other protected characteristic groups.

The 2011 Census showed that households where the Household Reference Person (HRP) was from a minority ethnic group were more likely to be in urban areas in Scotland.

In 2011, Gypsy/Travellers in Scotland, compared to the population as a whole, were less likely to own their own home, more likely to live in a caravan, and more likely to live in overcrowded accommodation.

This report contains the recommendations of young people with regards to the Concluding Observations published in 2016, and the issues which they feel continue to impact upon their lives, and those of their families, friends and communities. The recommendations included:

'We should be consulted about where sites should be', 'We should be part of the planning process to allow us to say what type of sites and facilities we want', and 'There should be more opportunities for us to take part in decision making and have out voices heard'.

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.

Women from some minority ethnic groups may not wish to attend mixed gender consultation meetings.

Scottish Household Survey: Annual Report 2019 (2020)

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

Hard to reach, easy to ignore (2017)

Analysis of Equality Results from the 2011 Census: Part 1

Gypsy/Travellers in Scotland: A Comprehensive Analysis of the 2011 Census

Young Gypsy/Travellers Discuss the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child - Children and Young People's Evidence Bank (2018)

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

Royal Town Planning Institute, Good Practice Note 7: Gender and Spatial Planning (2007)

Religion or Belief

In 2018, the percentage of adults who agreed that they could influence decisions affecting their local area was similar for all religious groups – Other Religion (25%), Christians (20%) and No Religion (21%).

Scottish Household Survey 2019

Data gaps identified and action taken

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

120. This section considers the potential impacts – negative, positive and neutral – that the proposed regulations and draft guidance might have on each of the protected characteristics. It has been undertaken using the evidence gathered to date. This is indicative of the potential impacts and will be subject to review following the consultation.

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

   

There is a spatial dimension with the population ageing at differing rates across the country and so there is a need for some discretion for planning authorities to plan for future housing in their areas, based on a robust evidence base.

Older people want action to ensure they have access to adequate housing that continues to meet their needs as they age. And in terms of removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to the age protected characteristic, older people want action to ensure they have access to opportunities to remain actively engaged with, and involved in, their communities.

The proposed regulations and draft guidance reinforce the requirements of the 2019 Act, including aspects requiring engagement with children and younger people, and matters relating to housing for older people. This includes matters relating to the Development Plan Scheme and Participation Statement, and advice that authorities take into account those who may be directly, or indirectly impacted by proposals, and provide opportunities for a diverse range of people to express their views.

Advancing equality of opportunity

X

   

Promoting good relations among and between different age groups

X

   

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 regulations and guidance have the opportunity to support the needs and aspirations of disabled people so they can:

  • participate as active citizens in all aspects of daily and public life.
  • benefit from increased availability of affordable and accessible housing to support people to continue to life independent lives.
  • access increased availability of accessible and inclusive transport and services.

In taking steps to meet the needs of disabled people where these are different from the needs of other people, the Scottish Government has noted that disabled people want action to ensure they have access to adequate housing to meet their needs.

The proposed regulations and draft guidance reinforce the requirements of the 2019 Act, including aspects requiring engagement with disabled people and housing for disabled people.

Advancing equality of opportunity

X

   

Promoting good relations among and between disabled and non-disabled people

X

   

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

Evidence would suggest that measures included should enable women and men's participation in the planning system and for the decisions taken to reflect a diversity of perspectives. There is an opportunity to link with the forthcoming guidance on effective community engagement in Local Development Plans.

In taking steps to meet the needs of women and men where these are different, the Scottish Government has noted particular issues around the way that women and men use public places. Key to this will be issues reflecting access to local employment and community facilities and the safety of users of public spaces.

The proposed regulations and draft guidance reinforce the requirements of the 2019 Act, including matters relating to the Development Plan Scheme and Participation Statement, and advise that authorities take into account those who may be directly, or indirectly impacted by proposals, and provide opportunities for a diverse range of people to express their views.

Advancing equality of opportunity

   

X

Promoting good relations between men and women

   

X

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

     

Not assessed.

Advancing equality of opportunity

     

Promoting good relations

     

Do you think your policy impacts on people proposing to undergo, undergoing, or who have undergone a process for the purpose of reassigning their sex? (NB: the Equality Act 2010 uses the term 'transsexual people' but 'trans people' is more commonly used)

Gender reassignment

Positive

Negative

None

Reasons for your decision

Eliminating unlawful discrimination

     

Not assessed.

Advancing equality of opportunity

     

Promoting good relations

     

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

Whilst we don't have specific evidence that participation in planning is disproportionately low for people with this protected characteristic, we would suggest that there may be value in ensuring that participation forms part of a collaborative approach to community engagement.

Evidence indicated that as a whole, this group had no special needs or requirements when it came to planning.

Advancing equality of opportunity

   

X

Promoting good relations

   

X

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

   

Evidence would suggest measures be taken which enable people's participation in the planning system and for the decisions taken to reflect a diversity of perspectives. There is an opportunity to link with the forthcoming guidance on effective community engagement in Local Development Plans.

In taking steps to meet the needs of people where these are different, the Scottish Government has noted particular issues around housing and accommodation needs.

The regulations and guidance reinforce the requirements of the 2019 Act, including aspects requiring engagement with Gypsy/Travellers and consideration of their accommodation needs. A separate consultation is to be held on specific Gypsy/Traveller matters.

Advancing equality of opportunity

X

   

Promoting good race relations

   

X

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

Whilst we don't have specific evidence that participation in planning is disproportionately low for people with this protected characteristic, we would suggest that there may be value in ensuring that participation forms part of a collaborative approach to community engagement.

The proposed regulations and draft guidance reinforce the requirements of the 2019 Act, including matters relating to the Development Plan Scheme and Participation Statement, and advise that authorities take into account who may be directly, or indirectly impacted by proposals, and provide opportunities for a diverse range of people to express their views.

Advancing equality of opportunity

   

X

Promoting good relations

   

X

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

Marriage and Civil Partnership[2]

Positive

Negative

None

Reasons for your decision

Eliminating unlawful discrimination

     

Not required.

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?

The interim review has identified at this stage a range of potential positive impacts. This is an indicative assessment and will subject to review following consultation.

Is the policy directly or indirectly discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010[3]?

No.

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?

N/A

Describing how Equality Impact analysis has shaped the policy making process

121. The proposed regulations and draft guidance seek to implement the provisions of the 2019 Act. The overall approach has been to balance the consistency required of secondary legislation with enabling flexibility in the guidance to different local circumstances across Scotland.

122. In considering the proposed regulations we have worked to the principle of keeping to the minimum necessary, given there is much process already outline in primary legislation. However, a new aspect to the LDP process has been introduced which requires new regulations – the Evidence Report. Primary legislation defines the meaning of a number of terms relating to this but provides for regulations to specify the meaning of 'Gypsies and Travellers'. Having considered this with colleagues in the Equalities Unit we propose to hold a separate consultation on this matter. This will enable the targeted involvement of the Gypsy/Traveller community and explanation of the specific matters associated with this requirement.

123. With regard to the regulation relating to the publication of the Proposed Plan, we propose to maintain the manner of publication as it has been to date. This includes publishing a notice in a local newspaper circulating in the area and on the internet, sending notice to identified stakeholders, making a copy available for inspection at planning authority offices, and publishing it on the internet.

124. Our reasoning for retaining the hard copy elements of publication explains that whilst we have seen increased digital access over time, and particularly in the last 18 months, local newspapers have remained a normal route to raise awareness. Social media notices are increasingly used in the publication of LDPs and supplement the minimum requirement of internet publication. However, we also note that there are groups in society who use the internet less, including older people and disabled people.

125. In providing advice on implementing the 2019 Act, the draft guidance outlines those who should participate in preparing LDPs. It identifies those who must be involved and also refers that authorities should take into account those who may be directly, or indirectly impacted by proposals, and provide opportunities for a diverse range of people to express their views.

126. In carrying out the interim EQIA and using the evidence to inform the consultation documents we have aimed to develop better outcomes for people and communities.

Monitoring and Review

127. Evidence gathered during the consultation will help inform the full EQIA which will be completed when we finalise work on the regulations and guidance.

128. The introduction to the consultation indicates that the draft guidance is intended to be a live document, and that it is structured in parts to offer access to the different types of information as needed by different audiences. This also enables the parts to be reviewed individually so that it can adapt and evolve as we learn how the new LDP system in implemented in practice.

Stage 5 - Authorisation of EQIA

Please confirm that:

  • This Equality Impact Assessment has informed the development of this policy:

Yes X

No

  • Opportunities to promote equality in respect of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation have been considered, i.e.:
    • Eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation;
    • Removing or minimising any barriers and/or disadvantages;
    • Taking steps which assist with promoting equality and meeting people's different needs;
    • Encouraging participation (e.g. in public life)
    • Fostering good relations, tackling prejudice and promoting understanding.

Yes X

No

  • If the Marriage and Civil Partnership protected characteristic applies to this policy, the Equality Impact Assessment has also assessed against the duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation in respect of this protected characteristic:

Yes

No

Not applicable X

Declaration

I am satisfied with the equality impact assessment that has been undertaken for the Local Development Planning Regulations and Guidance Consultation and give my authorisation for the results of this assessment to be published on the Scottish Government's website.

Name: Dr Fiona Simpson

Position: Chief Planner

Authorisation date: 8 December 2021


Contact

Email: LDPRegsandGuidance@gov.scot