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
Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA)

Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA)

CRWIA Title:

Consultation on proposed regulations and draft guidance relating to the changes made to local development planning through the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, which amended the Town and Country Planning (Scotland)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

Date of publication: 17 December 2021

Summary of Aims and Desired Outcomes

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.

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.

The proposed regulations and draft Guidance are part of our wider work on planning reform and implementing the Planning Scotland Act 2019 (the 2019 Act). They provide advice on the implementation of the 2019 Act and the draft National Planning Framework 4, and should be viewed within the context of the overarching provisions on LDPs as set out in the 2019 Act.

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.

The 2019 Act introduces a purpose of planning which is the overall aim of the planning system in Scotland to "manage the development and use of land in the long term public interest" (section 3ZA(1)).

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.

Executive Summary

This interim impact assessment relates to the proposals for secondary legislation on development planning.

This interim impact assessment considers how the proposals for regulations relate to the relevant Articles of the UNCRC, in particular in relation to Articles 3, 12, 24, 27 and 28.

It considers

  • any impacts the proposals may have on children in general and / or on any specific group or groups of children;
  • how the proposal may contribute to the wellbeing of children and young people based on the relevant SHANARRI indicators;
  • if the proposals better or further effect the implementation of the UNCRC in Scotland; and
  • the evidence base used to inform the assessment.

We consider that of the eight wellbeing indicators (Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible, Included (known by the acronym SHANARRI)), the legislation relates to:

  • Included: Having help to overcome social, educational, physical and economic inequalities and being accepted as part of the community in which they live and learn.
  • Respected: Given a voice and involved in the decisions that affect their wellbeing.
  • Responsible: Taking an active role in their schools and community.

The results of this assessment demonstrate that there are likely to be no potentially negative impacts of the proposed regulations and draft guidance. There are specific sections within the 2019 Act, and reiterated within the draft guidance, which require children and young people to be actively engaged in the LDP preparation process and for their views to be listened to. We do acknowledge that further guidance on effective engagement will be helpful, and that this is expected to be prepared in due course.

Background

The Child's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) is used to identify, research, analyse and record the impact of proposed legislation on children's human rights and wellbeing. The impacts can be direct or indirect; short, medium or long-term; and positive, negative or neutral.

The 2019 Act requires that development planning, which includes LDPs manages 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 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.

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).

The public consultation will seek views on the proposed regulations and draft guidance and will seek views on this interim CRWIA. An interim Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA), Island Communities Impact Assessment (ICIA) and Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment have also been undertaken and will be consulted on.

Scope of the CRWIA, identifying the children and young people affected by the policy, and summarising the evidence base

The likely effects of the proposed Local Development Planning Regulations and Draft Guidance were informed by a range of evidence including professional working groups and the examination of evidence from a range of studies, reports and surveys including:

Beyond4Walls (2016)

Planning Places Survey Report (2017)

Hard to Reach, Easy to Ignore (2017)

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

Girls in Scotland 2018 (2018)

Young People and the Highlands and Islands: Maximising Opportunities (2018)

Poverty in Scotland (2019)

Scottish Household Survey: Annual Report 2018 (2019)

National Transport Strategy Review Young Scot (2019)

Children and parents: media use and attitudes report (2019)

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

Population Projections for Scottish Areas 2018-based (2020)

Health Inequalities: Peer research into the role of communities (2020)

Democracy Matters to Children (2020)

Travel and Transport in Scotland 2019 (2020)

Social Attitudes Survey 2019: Attitudes to Young People (2020)

NPF4 Call for ideas: Analysis of responses (2020)

If not now, when? - Social Renewal Advisory Board report (2021)

Progress Review of Scotland's Play Strategy (2021)

The National Islands Plan Survey Final Report (2021)

National Performance Framework: disability perspective analysis (2021)

NPF4: Position Statement: Youth Engagement Report (2021)

NPF4: Position Statement: Responses (2021)

The proposed Local Development Planning Regulations and Draft Guidance have the potential to have a positive impact on the rights of all children by helping to deliver a healthier, safer, fairer and more inclusive Scotland where every child and young person has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. The process of the preparation of the new style LDPs is set out in the 2019 Act and advice on the implementation of these legislative requirements is provided in the proposed regulations and draft guidance. We envisage that LDPs will potentially provide an additional opportunity for children and young people to become more actively engaged in the planning system.

Children and Young People's Views and Experiences

The Planning Places Survey Report concluded that 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.

Whilst prepared for the development of NPF4, the results of the NPF4 Youth Engagement report provided an insight into key issues as identified by young people. The most frequently mentioned issue was housing and the community provision linked with it (doctors, schools, community and leisure centres) but also affordability. Young people also want more encouragement for communities on smaller projects (gardening, art, social activities) which could possibly lead to a stronger sense of belonging to an area.

Young Gypsy/Travellers Discuss the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child - Children and Young People's Evidence Bank (2018) included recommendations that there should be more opportunities for young Gypsy / Travellers to take part in decision making and have their voices heard.

This is also reflected in Health Inequalities: Peer research into the role of communities (2020) which noted that children and young people want to be involved in decisions about the places they live.

Democracy Matters to Children (2020) also 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'. It identified a number of local issues as ones which children wanted to have a say in – this included planning and the built environment.

Responses to the NPF4 Position Statement (2021) called for action to address inequality of opportunity to participate, with specific calls for a greater voice for children and young people and groups such as Gypsy/Travellers.

The National Islands Plan Survey Final Report (2021): Island residents generally perceive that they have little influence over decisions made by local and national organisations, and more influence over community organisations and community councils, particularly in the Outer Isles of Orkney and Shetland, where around half of residents feel they can influence decisions made by their community council. 42% of younger people (aged 18 to 35) compared to 30% of older people (aged 66 and over) report that they can influence decisions made by community organisations such as Development Trusts and community groups.

Young People and the Highlands and Islands (2018): levels of community participation varied by geography, with the highest levels reported by young people in Orkney (81%), Shetland (72%) and the Outer Hebrides (70%).

The Young People's Participation in Decision Making: Attitudes and Perceptions research (2020) found that around six in ten of young people surveyed (58%) 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.

Key Findings, including an assessment of the impact on children's rights, and how the measure will contribute to children's wellbeing

The views of children and young people and associated evidence on a number of key themes within the 2019 Act and, as a result, the proposed regulations and guidance are set out below:

Participation

Children and young people have been clear that they should be involved in the shaping of the places that they stay in. This view is supported by evidence provided by Young Gypsy / Travellers.

Responses to the NPF4 Position Statement called for action to address inequality of opportunity to participate, with specific calls for a greater voice for children and young people and groups such as Gypsy/Travellers.

Reponses to the consultation suggested that community bodies should be required to engage with children and young people, but also that, without support for engagement, children and young people are likely to struggle to engage in the development of LPPs.

It should be noted that revisions arising from the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 will enhance the opportunities for children and young people's voices to be heard at the local development plan stage.

Evidence would also suggest that there may be barriers to children and young people's engagement.

The 2019 Social Attitudes Survey highlighted that a majority of adults felt that young people aged 16 to 18 should have 'a great deal' or 'quite a lot' of say in decisions that affect their lives. The proportion believing this for those aged 11 to 15 was much smaller.

And the 2021 National Performance Framework - disability perspective: analysis found that fewer disabled young people agreed that adults were good at taking their views into account than non-disabled young people in 2019 (54% vs 62%).

Housing

Beyond4Walls (2016) reported that the need for good quality housing was regarded as essential, with many of the young people believing that housing must be affordably heated, have space for them to study, have Wi-Fi and be a place they feel safe. Young people also identified the importance of having a voice in their own community and good transport links.

The PAS NPF4 Youth Engagement Report (2021) found that issues around housing are important, including its affordability and associated infrastructure.

The NPF4 Position Statement analysis noted that the issue of affordable housing was highlighted in the context of rural supply where it was suggested that the lack of affordable housing is a major contributory factor in young people and families relocating away from rural areas, and that addressing this issue will be key to reversing rural depopulation.

Spaces and Places

Children want a return to play, more play and better play. This was children and young people's overwhelming response to a consultation on play undertaken by Play Scotland in early 2021. It went on to note that children wish to play in parks and natural environments such as the beach and woods, and participate in a wide range of physical activities such as football, swimming, dancing and cycling.

Health Inequalities: Peer research into the role of communities (2020) reported that children wanted to:

  • Improve the quality of green spaces;
  • Deal with vandalism and regenerate abandoned spaces; and
  • Use planning processes to get support for healthier shops and restaurants to set up in communities.

Democracy Matters for Children (2020) noted the following:

  • one of the most prominent themes was the importance of the physical environment for children. Children frequently want 'lots of green spaces' and 'more places to play' 'protected wildlife' and provisions in place around personal safety.
  • on leisure and socialising, children were keen for spaces for people to spend time socialising.
  • the children valued places to be physically activity both in and outdoors.

The Girls in Scotland (2018) survey, undertaken by Girl Guides Scotland, showed that 23% of girls said there area had few, or no community facilities.

Responses to consultations on the development of NPF4 noted that planning should consider young people, including through providing youth clubs and other facilities for teenagers.

The NSPCC Report Challenges from the Frontline – Revisited (2020) noted that intensive family support should be Community Based: support must be explicitly connected to, or even housed in, locations that work for local families and the community, such as schools, health centres, village halls and sports centres. Communities must have a say in where support is located.

Transport and Connectivity

Engagement reported in 2019 with Young Scot to inform the National Transport Strategy revealed that key issues for young people include the availability and cost of public transport, particularly to further and higher education, and personal safety when using services.

This would appear to confirm the Girls in Scotland (2018) survey, undertaken by Girl Guides Scotland, which showed that 55% of girls said public transport could be better.

Public Health Scotland. The impact of COVID-19 on children and young people in Scotland: 10 to 17-years-olds (2021) suggests that for some young people, limited access to digital resources, digital connection – both hardware and software (e.g. broadband access) was a barrier to social engagement and to their educational development, potentially exacerbating existing inequalities.

The Understanding Society COVID-19 (2020) study noted that across all age groups (primary, secondary and post-secondary), 9% of students whose parents/carers were unemployed did not have access to an electronic device, compared with 3% of students whose parents/carers were employed or employed and furloughed.

Inequalities

Every Child, Every Chance (2018) recognises that to tackle poverty overall it is necessary to focus on 'priority families' at high risk of poverty: lone parents, families with a disabled adult or child, young mothers, minority ethnic families, families with a child under 1, and larger families (with three or more children).

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation report Poverty in Scotland (2019) noted that the largest falls in poverty rates seen in the past 20 years have been among pensioners and children. But despite improvements over time, children remain the most at-risk group in terms of poverty, with rates far above average, followed by working-age adults with children.

However, it is estimated that 24% of children (240,000 children each year) were living in relative poverty after housing costs in 2017-20. Before housing costs, it is estimated that 21% of children (210,000 children each year) were in relative poverty.

After a long fall between the late nineties and 2010-13, which slowed briefly just before the recession, child poverty rates have been gradually rising again.

  • The drivers of child poverty include: income from employment, costs of living and income from social security and benefits in kind. Planning has a particular role to play in the provision of:
    good quality work
  • housing (including energy and food) costs are minimised
  • accessible childcare
  • accessible and affordable public transport
  • access to the internet

Health and Wellbeing

In 2019, the proportion of children (aged 2–15) who met the recommended physical activity level over the last seven days, was the lowest in the time series.

  • 71% in 2008
  • 76% in 2016
  • 69% in 2019

Increasing active travel can subsequently increase the level of physical activity in both children and adults. It could mean less use of the car, which would reduce air and noise pollution and the number of incidents and accidents involving cars. Vulnerable people in the population such as children can be the most affected by poorer air quality.

Wellbeing Indicators

We consider that of the eight wellbeing indicators (Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible, Included (known by the acronym SHANARRI)), the policy relates to:

  • Included: Having help to overcome social, educational, physical and economic inequalities and being accepted as part of the community in which they live and learn.
  • Respected: Given a voice and involved in the decisions that affect their wellbeing.
  • Responsible: Taking an active role in their schools and community.

Articles of the UNCRC

We consider that the following articles of the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) are relevant:

Article 12 – where every child has 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.

Article 3 – every decision and action taken relating to a child must be in their best interest.

In addition, there are other articles which may be of relevance including, Article 24 – health and health services, Article 27 - adequate standard of living, and Article 28 – right to education.

The proposed regulations and draft guidance provide clarity on the 2019 Act in relation to the preparation of an LDP. Each LDP must provide for the location of new housing, schools and other education facilities and health services. As detailed below, the statutory requirements to engage children and young people in the plan making process will ensure that children's views on these key issues will be sought, and heard.

There are a number of specific requirements within the 2019 Act to engage children and young people in the development plan preparation process, and to listen to their views. These are set out in the draft guidance with detail on how to implement the requirements as follows:

The planning authority is required to seek the views of particular groups of people, including children and young people (particularly school pupils, youth councillors and youth parliament representatives), and have regard to those views when preparing the Evidence Report (section 16B(2) of the 2019 Act).

The Evidence Report must include a statement on how the planning authority has sought particular stakeholders' views, including children and young people, and how these views are taken into account in the report (section 16B(4) of the 2019 Act).

Planning authorities must have regard to any guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers in relation to effective community engagement (section 16C). They must also promote and facilitate the participation of children and young people under the age of 25 in their preparation of the Proposed Plan (section 16A(1)). As a starting point, this must include schools, youth councils and youth parliament representatives within the authority area (section 16A(2)). The planning authority must publish and maintain up to date information about how children and young people have been involved in LDP preparation (section 16A(3)).

As part of the Development Plan Scheme, the Participation Statement will outline the engagement that will take place in relation to the preparation of the Proposed Plan. The planning authority is expected to consult with children and young people, following on from the participation required in the preparation of the Proposed Plan.

The Spatial Strategy should address the wider concept of play and playability through other relevant policy areas, to identify and maximise the opportunities for play in the community / neighbourhood. Plans should prioritise actions in disadvantaged communities, to ensure the adequate provision of publicly accessible, good quality outdoor play opportunities for formal, informal and incidental play help to tackle inequality and improve health and wellbeing outcomes for children in such areas. Plans should recognise the importance of quality greenspace for play and the range of health and wellbeing benefits this creates for children and young people.

Based on town centre audits and strategies development plans should identity opportunities for living in city and town centres. A mix of unit types, sizes and tenures should be promoted to ensure there is variety of town centre living accommodation, catering to a range of needs. Where family housing is incorporated in the plan, provision should be made to ensure there are sufficient equitable opportunities for children to play safely, meet friends and relax.

Section 16D of the 2019 Act requires the planning authority to assess the sufficiency of play opportunities in its area for children, to establish needs and demands to be met, and community aspirations. Draft NPF4 policy 12b states LDPs 'should identify new, enhanced provision or improved access to play opportunities for children as part of enhancing and expanding blue and green infrastructure. Blue and green infrastructure should provide opportunities for play and recognise the need for, and provide publicly accessible, outdoor opportunities for formal, informal and incidental play. These facilities should be good quality, accessible and suitable for different ages and abilities, to satisfy current and likely future needs and demand in the community'.

The draft guidance notes that as a matter of good practice "the planning authority is expected to engage with a range of people at all stages in the preparation of the LDP. The authority should engage with the public at large and seek the views of particular organisations and societal groups, including key agencies, children and young people, disabled persons, Gypsy/Travellers and community councils."

The Scottish Government has found that the proposed regulations and draft guidance do not impinge negatively upon articles of the UNCRC or the indicators of wellbeing (SHANARRI).

However, we recognise in the need for guidance on effective community engagement to ensure that all people, including children and young people, are able to engage fully in the development plan making process, and that plan makers have regard to these views. This guidance is expected to be prepared in due course.

Monitoring and Review

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

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


Contact

Email: LDPRegsandGuidance@gov.scot