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
Fairer Scotland Duty (FSD) Assessment

Fairer Scotland Duty (FSD) Assessment

Title:

Development Planning Regulations and Supporting Guidance

Summary of Aims and Expected Outcomes

The draft Development Planning Regulations aim to provide additional detail to the requirements for local development plans (LDPs) set out in the primary legislation the Planning (Scotland) Act, 2019 (the 2019 Act). As well as setting out the process of preparing and monitoring LDPs the regulations also cover their form and content.

The Regulations are part of the wider planning reform programme which seeks to strengthen and simplify LDPs (there is already strong support for a plan-led planning system in Scotland).

The draft Development Planning guidance (the guidance) aims to explain the legal process of preparing LDPs, and to support the implementation of National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) through LDPs.

  • Section 1 sets out the aims and expectations for new style plans. It provides an indication of what they should be like in the future.

We want to refocus plans on the outcomes that they deliver for people and places. 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.

Our aim for LDPs is that they 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.

  • Section 2 aims to set out the process of how to achieve a new style plan. It covers the proposed draft legislative requirements, how these are met and responsibilities.

The planning system should apply the Place Principle which commits us to take a collaborative place based approach to future development. This must involve working with stakeholders and local communities to create liveable, healthier and sustainable places that improve lives, build economic prosperity and contribute to net zero and environmental ambitions.

We want plans to be informed by consultation and collaboration so that they are relevant, and accessible and interest people.

  • Section 3 aims to set out detailed thematic guidance on how new style plans are expected to support the implementation of draft NPF4's policies for the development and use of land.

Draft NPF4 looks to rebalance our planning system so that climate change and nature recovery are the primary guiding principles for all our plans and all our decisions. A place based approach is at the heart of creating a more sustainable and fair Scotland.

The guidance will provide further details around implementation of NPF4 through LDPs, setting out information to inform Evidence Reports, considerations for Proposed Plans (including spatial strategies and land allocations), and Delivery Programmes.

The guidance will support delivery of NPF4's six high level outcomes which include:

− meeting the housing needs of people living in Scotland including, in particular, the housing needs for older people and disabled people;

− improving the health and wellbeing of people living in Scotland;

− improving equality and eliminating discrimination; and

− increasing the population of rural areas of Scotland.

The guidance also aims to support the spatial strategy principles set out in Draft NPF4, and provides guidance on how these can be applied locally.

To provide direct read across to help support implementation of NPF4, and roll out of its land use planning policies, through the development plan system, this part of the guidance reflects the headings in Draft NPF4

− Sustainable places

− Liveable places

− Productive places

− Distinctive places

As these policies are currently subject to consultation, this assessment may be subject to amendment. NPF4's policies and the supporting Development Plans Guidance aim to support key issues supporting people's lives such as; tackling inequalities, engagement, local living, housing, spaces and places, work and inequalities, health and wellbeing and connectivity.

The Development Planning regulations and guidance therefore have the potential to impact development and land use, and people and communities of all backgrounds from across Scotland.

Summary of Evidence

This Fairer Scotland Duty assessment has been developed drawing on a range of primary and other source documents. We have also considered sources in the Scottish Government's equality evidence finder. Given the Development Planning guidance's close links to NPF4, this Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment, uses much of the same evidence base, as that for NPF4.

Spatial Element of Inequalities

Evidence suggests that to tackle inequalities it is necessary to take both a spatial and thematic approach based on communities of geography and identity.

When considering tackling poverty, Building the evidence base on tackling poverty (2017) set out 'pockets', 'prospects' and 'places' as three drivers. "Places" includes: the regions and neighbourhoods people live in - impact of pollution on health, access to green space. Ability to access services and employment. Local labour market. Social networks. Regional variations in costs.

The main tool for identifying the places in Scotland where people are experiencing disadvantage across different aspects of their lives is the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD). Its most recent iteration was published in 2020 and includes an interactive map.

The latest update of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2020 has been published by Scotland's Chief Statistician. This shows:

  • the least deprived area is in Stockbridge, Edinburgh. This represents a change since SIMD 2016, when the least deprived area was in Giffnock
  • the most deprived area is in Greenock town centre. This represents a change since SIMD 2016 and 2012, when the most deprived area was identified as Ferguslie Park, Paisley
  • the area with the largest local share of deprived areas was Inverclyde, with 45% of data zones among the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland
  • Glasgow City has similar deprivation levels at 44%
  • other local authorities with relatively high levels of deprivation include North Ayrshire and West Dunbartonshire at 40% and Dundee City at 38%
  • Na h-Eileanan an Siar, Shetland and Orkney have no areas among the 20% most deprived in Scotland, however, this does not mean there are no people experiencing deprivation living there
  • over half of people on low income do not live in the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland
  • levels of deprivation have fallen in Glasgow City, Renfrewshire and City of Edinburgh compared to SIMD 2016. Glasgow City showed the biggest fall, from 48% of data zones in the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland, to 44%
  • levels of deprivation have increased in Aberdeen City, North Lanarkshire, Moray, East Lothian, Highland and North Ayrshire. None of these increases are greater than 2 percentage points.

It can also allow effective targeting of policies and funding where the aim is to wholly or partly tackle or take account of area concentrations of multiple deprivation.

Research also identified areas of Scotland that are expected to be most vulnerable to the consequences of EU Exit. An accompanying interactive map allows for more granular analysis of each datazone in Scotland.

Key findings were that:

  • The risks presented by EU Exit are anticipated to have significant social and economic consequences for all areas of Scotland.
  • Many of the areas most vulnerable to EU Exit are in rural locations, in particular on the Scottish islands.

Public Health Scotland highlight one of the important determinants of health inequalities within society is the availability and nature of employment.

Differential Impact of Poverty and Protected Characteristics

Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland 2017-20 (2021) estimated that 19% of Scotland's population (1.03 million people each year) were living in relative poverty after housing costs in 2017-20. Before housing costs, 17% of the population (910,000 people) were living in poverty. Relative poverty is a measure of whether the lowest income households are keeping pace with middle income households across the UK.

After a long decline since the beginning of the time series in the mid-nineties, absolute poverty rates have stagnated in the last decade.

Before housing costs, 14% of the population (770,000 people each year) were in absolute poverty. The trend is similar to the after housing costs measure, although the downward trend started to stagnate a few years later.

Households on low incomes are more likely to experience fuel poverty than those on higher incomes. Scottish House Condition Survey data (2020) indicates that around 613,000 (24.6%) households were classified as living in fuel poverty in 2019, with around 311,000 (12.4%) living in extreme fuel poverty.

It also noted that approximately half (48%) of fuel poor households are other households (without children or older members). Around 16% of households living in fuel poverty are families with children, and 36% are older households.

Age and Poverty

The equality analysis of poverty showed that in the last 15 years, the youngest adults (16-24 year olds) have been consistently more likely to be in relative poverty compared to older adults.

Child poverty figures suggest that some types of households with children are known to be at a particularly high risk of poverty. These include households with single parents, three or more children, disabled household members, of a minority ethnic background, those with a child aged under one, or with a mother aged under 25. These groups do not cover everyone at higher risk of poverty, but taken together, they cover the majority of households with children that are in poverty.

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.

Gender and Poverty

In 2017-20, the relative poverty rate after housing costs for all single adults (working-age and pensioners) was 27%, higher than for the total population (19%).

The poverty rate was highest for single women with children (38%, 40,000 single mothers each year).

The National Transport Strategy 2: Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment (2020) noted that women in Scotland are much more likely than men to be part-time workers (44% compared to 15%) with over 75% of Scotland's part-time workforce being female. Women are also more likely to be in low-paid work, with 64% of people paid below the Living Wage being female. In particular, lone parents, the vast majority of whom are women, are more likely to be living in poverty than other single working-age adults in Scotland.

Marital Status and Poverty

Relative poverty rates are highest for single, divorced & separated people, and lowest for married adults.

Poverty among widowed and divorced/separated adults largely decreased over the long term, whereas the trend for singles, cohabiting and married adults was broadly flat over time.

Ethnicity and Poverty

In 2015-20, people from non-white minority ethnic groups were more likely to be in relative poverty after housing costs compared to those from the 'White - British' and 'White - Other' groups.

The poverty rate was

  • 43% for 'Mixed, Black or Black British and Other' ethnic groups (no population estimate available due to the small sample)
  • 41% for the 'Asian or Asian British' ethnic groups (50,000 people each year),
  • 24% (80,000 people) amongst the 'White - Other' group was); and
  • 18% (860,000 people) of the 'White - British' group.

Religion and Poverty

In 2015-20, Muslim adults were more likely to be in relative poverty (52%, 30,000 each year) than adults overall (18%), after housing costs were taken into account.

Disability and Poverty

Poverty rates remain higher for households in which somebody is disabled compared to those where no-one is disabled. In 2017-20, the poverty rate after housing costs for people in households with a disabled person was 23% (500,000 people each year). This compares with 17% (540,000 people) in a household without disabled household members.

Participation

Evidence suggests that people are keen to be involved in shaping the places that they stay and to be involved in local decision-making. However, in the 2019 National Indicator Performance report, 17.8% of people agreed that they can influence decisions affecting their local area, down from 20.1% in 2018. This is a decrease of 2.3 percentage points since last year, and is the lowest level since first measured in 2007.

Perceptions of ability to influence decisions and the desire to be involved in decision-making were lower in the most deprived areas compared to the least deprived areas (Scotland's People Annual Report, 2018).

Over three-quarters (78%) of adults felt a very or fairly strong sense of belonging to their neighbourhood in 2019. This sense of belonging was lower for people living in deprived areas. (Scottish Household Survey, 2019)

Housing and Accommodation

Living in poverty, or on a low income and with little or no wealth, restricts housing choices, presents affordability challenges and increases the likelihood of experiencing fuel poverty and the risks of homelessness.

The Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment for the Heat in Buildings Strategy notes housing is recognised as having an important influence on health inequalities in Scotland, with key pathways through housing quality and fuel poverty. Cold and damp homes may cause or exacerbate a number of health outcomes, primarily excess winter mortality, respiratory health conditions and mental health problems.

From the Housing to 2040 Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment we know that:

  • Affordable housing helps to tackle poverty and inequality. Increasing the supply of affordable and social rented homes and tackling unreasonably high rents in the private rented sector will continue to make an impact on child poverty levels.
  • Safe and warm homes and good neighbourhoods improve physical and mental health and wellbeing and build strong communities. Making sure homes add to and create great places will help to improve social cohesion, enable and contribute to community wealth building and unlock social capital across Scotland.
  • Housing creates and supports jobs and drives inclusive economic growth and social benefits. Housing's unique place at the heart of thriving communities means that investment in housing, and all the indirect effects that flow from that, can contribute to community wealth and social renewal.

The draft fuel poverty strategy sets out an approach which considers the wider issues of social justice and the health impact of tackling fuel poverty. It has two main objectives:

  • Removing poor energy efficiency as a driver for fuel poverty.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions through more energy efficient buildings and decarbonising our heat supply.

Local authority estimates, published in December 2020, showed that island and rural local authorities tended to have both higher fuel poverty rates and extreme fuel poverty rates (Scottish House Condition Survey, 2017-2019).

Spaces and Places

The Social Capital in Scotland: Report (2020) suggests that we need to ensure there are good quality, affordable and accessible places and spaces where people spend time, gather and meet. It noted it is essential to create, retain and maintain the environmental and social infrastructure that supports social interactions and participation in communities – the informal public places, spaces, and facilities where people spend time, gather and meet. Evidence shows this is most important in the areas where there is a perceived lack of these places, e.g. in areas of deprivation.

On a range of indicators people who live in deprived areas are faring worse than those in less deprived areas, these include: a sense of belonging to their community or rating their neighbourhood as a good place; perceptions around the local crime rate; less likely to have access to greenspace; made visits to the outdoors; or living within 500 metres of vacant and derelict land and properties.

Planning has a crucial role to play in reducing inequalities by ensuring everyone lives in good quality places that support quality of life. The Place Standard is an effective tool for helping us all to understand the strengths and weaknesses of our places and reducing inequalities by helping to ensure everyone lives in good quality places that support quality of life.

The data reveals area-based differences, as the proportion rating their neighbourhood as a very good place to live increased significantly as deprivation declined. Of those living in the 20% most deprived areas of Scotland in 2019, 32% rated their neighbourhood as a very good place to live, rising to 77% for those living in the 20% least deprived areas. This is a similar trend to previous years (National Indicator Performance, 2019).

People in the 15% most deprived areas were less likely to think the local crime rate had stayed the same or reduced in the past two years than those living elsewhere in Scotland (65% compared to 74%) (National Indicator Performance, 2019).

In relation to access to greenspace at home Public Health Scotland recent analysis was quoted as showing that there is quite a differentiation between space (private outdoor space at home e.g. gardens or balconies) depending on the tenure. Hansard reported that only 3% of homeowners do not have access to open space in the house, whereas for private sector tenants it is 23% and for local authority tenants it is 19%.

People living in the most deprived areas are less likely to live within a 5 minute walk of their nearest greenspace than people in less deprived areas. This observation has been consistent over the time series the data has been collected.

Respondents living in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland were more likely to agree or agree strongly that the quality of their local greenspace has reduced in the past 5 years (50% strongly agree/agree, compared to 40% of urban Scots) or if just use 'strongly agree' 26% compared to 18% (Greenspace Use and Attitudes Survey, 2017).

Research found that the quality of play areas was poorer in more deprived neighbourhoods, as compared to those in the least deprived areas. The 2016 Scottish Household Survey showed that most children had access to play areas in their neighbourhood, but that availability differed according to levels of deprivation within urban areas. Households within the 20% of most deprived urban areas said they had less access to a natural environment or wooded area in their neighbourhood, compared to the rest of urban areas. Parents living in the 20% most deprived urban areas were also much less likely to think that it was safe for children to travel alone to most play areas.[4]

Research published by Public Health Scotland finds that 'Socio-economic inequalities in use of green and open spaces existed before lockdown. Lockdown did not reduce these and may have made them worse.' It also notes that users reported that green and open space benefited their mental health during lockdown. Individuals of higher social grade were more likely to report increases in use, and also greater benefits to their mental health.

The Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey 2019 (2020) found that 55% of people living in the most deprived decile in Scotland are estimated to live within 500 metres of derelict land, compared to 11% of people in the least deprived decile.

The Scottish Household Survey Key Findings 2019 (2020) found that adults living in the 20 percent most deprived areas were more likely not to have not made any visits to the outdoors in the past 12 months (19 percent) compared to those in the 20 percent least deprived areas (four percent).

Although level of deprivation did not impact social isolation, as measured by the number of people meeting socially at least once a week, those living in the most deprived areas were almost twice as likely to experience feelings of loneliness as those living in the least deprived areas.

A higher proportion of people who live in remote rural areas either feel very or fairly strongly that they belong to their immediate neighbourhood than either people in accessible rural areas or the rest of Scotland. In remote rural areas over half of people feel very strongly that they belong to their immediate neighbourhood (Rural Scotland Key Facts, 2015).

Data shows that only rural areas of Scotland are not within a 15 minute drive time to key services. For example 84% of people in remote rural areas and 99% of people in accessible rural areas live within a 15 minute drive time to a GP compared to 100% of the population in the rest of Scotland. In general, a lower percentage of people in rural areas find key services convenient, when compared to the rest of Scotland. This is particularly noticeable for key services such as hospitals, dentists, chemists, public transport, banking services and cash machines (Rural Scotland Key Facts, 2015).

In terms of economic and employment in rural areas all indicators of economic activity are highest in rural Scotland. The economic activity rate (people employed or looking for work), employment rate (the number of people employed as a percentage of the total population of working age) and the rate of working age population that is either employed, in education or training are all higher in rural areas than in the rest of Scotland. A similar proportion of people living in accessible rural areas and in the rest of Scotland are employed in higher managerial and professional positions (12% and 10% respectively). The proportion is slightly lower at 8% in remote rural areas. A greater proportion of workers in remote rural areas (17%) are small employers or own account workers than in accessible rural areas (13%) or the rest of Scotland (7%). The lowest rate of business openings was seen in remote rural areas (9%), followed by accessible rural areas (12%) (Rural Scotland Key Facts, 2015).

Connectivity

Digital Connectivity

Adults in the most deprived areas and those with lower household income are less likely to use the internet or to have home internet access (Covid and Inequalities Report). In the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland, 82% of households had access to the internet, compared to 96% in the 20% least deprived areas.

Data also shows the availability of superfast broadband is much lower in rural areas than in the rest of Scotland (Rural Scotland Key Facts, 2015).

21% of adults in social housing did not use the internet (compared to only 5% in Private Rented Sector and 10% of owner occupiers) (Scottish Household Survey, 2018). Being older or disabled, living in a deprived area or living in social housing were risk factors for exclusion from access to digital services (Is Scotland Fairer Report, 2018).

Transport Connectivity

The Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment accompanying the National Transport Strategy 2 noted the following key information.

  • Research undertaken by Sustrans from 2016 stated that over one million Scots live in areas that are at risk of transport poverty, defined as those who don't have access to essential services or work due to limited affordable transport options.
  • Research published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that poor service coverage, reliability, and or affordability of public transport discourage people in low income to commute to employment sites, reinforcing socio-economic disparities. This is compounded by the fact that poor service coverage is more likely in deprived communities.

There are links between poverty and ability to cycle. Household access to bikes increases with household income. 62% of households with an income of £50,000 or more have access to one or more bikes, compared to 20% of households with an income up to £10,000.

Bicycle access is higher in rural areas than urban areas. There are also links between household income and people walking just for pleasure or to keep fit. For those living in households with annual income up to £10,000, 58% walk one or more days per week. For those in households with more than £50,000 annual income the figure rises to 71%.

Transport and Travel in Scotland 2019 (2020) noted that 68% of people travelled to work by car or van, 12% by walking and 10% by bus. However, this varied with income. Those in households with incomes under £15,000 were more likely to take the bus or walk than those on higher incomes. People from households with incomes over £50,000 were the most frequent car users.

Health and Wellbeing

Both mental and physical health are notably poorer in more deprived areas. In the most deprived areas in Scotland, 33% of adults lived with a limiting condition, while 15% of adults lived with a limiting condition in the least deprived areas. People living in the most deprived areas are also more likely to be in poor health and to have many long-term conditions. (Scotland's People Annual Report, 2019)

Long-term monitoring of health inequalities: January 2021 report noted that both males and females in the most deprived areas in Scotland are estimated to spend a lower proportion of their life in good health than those living in the least deprived areas.

For adults, 26% of adults in the most deprived areas were at a healthy weight, compared to 38% of those in the least

deprived areas. For children, the trend was similar, with 62% of children in the most deprived areas at a healthy weight, compared to 76% of children living in the least deprived areas.

74% of adults in the least deprived areas met physical activity recommendations, compared with 54% of adults in the most deprived areas.

In 2019/2020, 84% of the population lived in households with high food security. This means that 16% of people lived in households with marginal, low or very low food security. People in poverty were less likely to experience high food security: just 60% of those in relative poverty, and 59% of those in absolute poverty lived in high food security households.

Food insecurity has consistently been more prevalent among adults living in low income households. In 2019, 23% of adults with household incomes in the bottom quintile (less than £14,444/year) reported experiencing food insecurity compared to 3% of adults with household incomes in the top quintile (more than £49,400/year). Prevalence of food insecurity has consistently been higher among adults living in the most deprived areas compared to those living in the least deprived areas.

Summary of Assessment Findings

The Development Planning Regulations and Guidance have the potential to impact upon people across the whole of Scotland irrespective of their socio-economic status.

They have been drafted to help ensure people have opportunities to be meaningfully involved in plan making, and to provide a fairer, more inclusive and equalities based approach to planning the future. They seek to help advance equality, tackling spatial aspects of inequalities by promoting use of place-based approaches.

Regulations

Participation

As above, the evidence suggests people are keen to be involved in local decision-making and shaping their places, but that the extent to which people believed they can influence decisions were lower in the most deprived areas.

We wish to empower more people to shape their places.

The Scottish Government is aspiring to inspire people to pro-actively input to how their places should develop in the future and have influence in the decisions that impact on their lives.

There are significant and meaningful opportunities for people to engage in the preparation of LDPs.

Section 18(1)(d) of the Act requires a planning authority to consult key agencies and 'such persons who may be prescribed' on the Proposed Plan. This provision in the Act is not new. Proposed Plans will be of interest for a wide range of stakeholders and local authorities will have a good understanding of those relevant to their area. Statutory requirements in primary legislation for Development Plan Schemes mean they must include a Participation Statement, and that they include information on whom the planning authority will consult in preparing the plan.

The 2019 Act strengthened this to require that in preparing the Development Plan Scheme, the planning authority seek the views of the public at large as to 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. The Scottish Government will be preparing statutory guidance on effective community engagement in the preparation of LDPs. We therefore do not propose to prescribe, in regulations, any further persons to be consulted on the Proposed Plan, but expect to say more in guidance.

Guidance

Overall Approach

The evidence shows people living in the most deprived areas and neighbourhoods are more exposed to environmental conditions and other factors that negatively affect health and access to opportunities – including those relating to transport, access to green space, pollution effects, housing quality, fuel poverty, community participation, and social isolation.

Therefore, our future places and spaces need to contribute to improving equality and eliminating discrimination by addressing the environmental conditions and other factors that negatively affect health and access to employment opportunities – plus those relating to connectivity – both digital and transport, access to green space, pollution effects, housing quality, fuel poverty and community participation.

The guidance highlights the Public Sector Equality Duty, which places a duty on public authorities to advance equality of opportunity. It also sets out the Fairer Scotland Duty places a legal responsibility on particular public bodies in Scotland to actively consider how they can reduce inequalities of outcome caused by socio-economic disadvantage, when making strategic decisions. It notes that evidence from impact assessments, including Equality, Fairer Scotland, and where applicable Island Communities Assessments can inform LDP Evidence Reports.

The guidance also highlights there is an opportunity for LDPs to address community wealth building priorities by reflecting a people-centred approach to local economic development, addressing economic disadvantage and inequality, and providing added social value.

Draft NPF4's spatial strategy sets out six overarching spatial principles for Scotland 2045, which should contribute to improving equality and eliminating discrimination. The guidance indicates these spatial principles should be used to guide the preparation of Regional Spatial Strategies, LDPs, and LPPs.

The guidance sets out that LDP spatial strategies approach should

  • take account of the need to tackle geographical disparities in wealth and health, and reduce inequalities.
  • aim to create vibrant, healthy and safe places and seeks to tackle health inequalities particularly in places experiencing the most disadvantage
  • support transport options that focus on reducing inequalities and the need to travel unsustainably

The guidance notes Local Place Plans can support community aspirations on the big challenges for a future Scotland such as responding to the global climate emergency and tackling inequalities. It is vital that local people have the opportunity to engage meaningfully and have a positive influence in the future planning of development in their areas.

Draft NPF4 contains an overarching policy such that planning should respect, protect and fulfil human rights, seek to eliminate discrimination and promote equality. This is supported by the guidance. We have also identified below a number of the key policies in NPF4, expanded upon in the guidance which will help tackle inequalities in the broadest sense.

Sustainable Places

Climate Emergency

Evidence shows income level is a strong determinant for people's ability to respond to and recover from climate change impacts.

To achieve a net zero, nature-positive Scotland, we must rebalance our planning system so that climate change and nature recovery are the primary guiding principles for all our plans and all our decisions in the long-term public interest.

The guidance sets out that Evidence Reports should consider existing sources and scale of climate change emissions and the likelihood and severity of climate risks to the area. The guidance also indicates Evidence Reports should identify heat related climate risks for infrastructure, places, particular land uses, communities and biodiversity.

The guidance stresses that in developing the Spatial Strategy, significant consideration should be given to the global climate emergency. It notes the aim should be to manage the risk and avoid putting people at increased risk as a result of the strategy, and avoid non-adapted and mal-adapted development and create places that are flexible for future adaptations that may be necessary.

Design, Quality and Place

SIMD data and mapping shows where there are concentrations of multiple deprivation, and there is also evidence of geographic differential impacts of EU exit (including vulnerability in rural and islands areas) – highlighting the need for place based approaches

Place is where people, locations and resources combine to create a sense of identity and purpose, and it is at the heart of addressing the needs and realising the full potential of communities. The development planning system should apply the Place Principle and ensure that a design-led approach is taken for future development which involves working with stakeholders and local communities to create liveable, sustainable places that improve the lives of people, support greater equity, and inclusive and sustainable economic growth and contribute to net-zero ambitions.

The guidance notes evidence reports should be informed by population statistics and projections, and take account of existing data on socio-economic performance, and health and wellbeing, to support the development of place-based proposals. It also notes that in developing spatial strategies

using new development to improve existing places should be considered as a first priority.

Liveable Places

20 minute Neighbourhoods

Evidence reveals significantly fewer people living in the 20% most deprived areas of Scotland in 2019, rated their neighbourhood as a very good place to live, compared to those living in the 20% least deprived areas. The data also shows inequalities in access to transport, greenspace and quality play opportunities, and more food deserts within more deprived communities.

The guidance helps set out how development plans should support development that will contribute to the creation of walkable, liveable and thriving places that provide communities with local access to the wide range of local facilities and services that they need, including access to employment opportunities, health and care facilities and services, shopping, safe streets and places, childcare and education, affordable housing plus green networks, outdoor spaces for play, community gardens, culture, sport and recreation facilities.

Quality Homes

The evidence shows living in poverty, or on a low income and with little or no wealth, restricts housing choices, presents affordability challenges and increases the likelihood of experiencing fuel poverty and the risks of homelessness; whilst affordable housing helps to tackle poverty and inequality.

The guidance sets out planning authorities should have regard to the Local Housing Strategy (LHS) in preparing the Evidence Report. 'This will, in particular, provide relevant information relating to different tenures of affordable and market housing for an area. This should inform the process of setting the all-tenure HLR.'

The guidance indicates 'A place based plan is expected to:

identify which allocations are located to help contribute to meeting specific needs including for: affordable housing, further and higher education, older people, disabled people, self-build and gypsy/travellers'. The guidance provides further advice to planning authorities about provision of affordable housing.

Evidence recognises housing's important influence on health inequalities in Scotland, with key pathways through housing quality and fuel poverty. Good quality homes should be at the heart of great places and contribute to strengthening the health and wellbeing of Scotland's communities. To help tackle climate change, we will need more energy efficient, net zero emissions homes. This can also support a greener, fairer and more inclusive wellbeing economy and has the potential to help build community wealth and reduce fuel poverty.

Sustainable Transport

The 2016 Sustrans research stated over one million Scots live in areas at risk of transport poverty. Research also shows poor service coverage (more likely in deprived communities), reliability, and or affordability of public transport, discourages people in low income to commute to employment sites, reinforcing socio-economic disparities.

Scotland's transport system should contribute to the creation of great places through prioritising the need to reduce inequalities; take climate action; help deliver inclusive economic growth; and improve health and wellbeing. The planning system will support development that minimises the need for travel and encourage active travel.

The guidance notes an audit of the transport infrastructure, services and capacity of the area should be undertake. It notes LDPs should implement and ensure development is in line with the sustainable travel and investment hierarchies. It provides guidance on walking and cycling infrastructure, and transport interchanges, bus priority routes, and low / no car parking, and the efficient roll out of electric vehicles.

Heat and Cooling

The draft fuel poverty strategy considers issues of social justice and the health impact of tackling fuel poverty, it has an objective for more energy efficient buildings and decarbonising heat supply.

Draft NPF4 recognises that heat networks can help contribute to Scotland's net zero ambitions by using and storing heat from low or zero emissions sources, such as surplus or waste heat, heat from large scale heat pumps, particularly in conjunction with geothermal systems or bodies of water or clean hydrogen to provide zero emissions heat to homes. There is scope for this to reduce fuel poverty.

The guidance indicates allocations and development opportunities should be informed by heat network zones and other strategic level zones, and take into account the area's Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategy and areas of heat network potential and any designated heat network zones.

Blue and Green Infrastructure, Play & Sport

Evidence shows open spaces, greenspace and play spaces offer benefits in terms of health and wellbeing. However, people who live in deprived areas are less likely to have access to greenspace and more likely to agree that the quality of their local greenspace has reduced in the past 5 years. The evidence also reveals the quality of play areas was poorer in more deprived neighbourhoods.

The guidance sets out that 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.

Lifelong Health, Wellbeing and Safety

Evidence shows mental and physical health are notably poorer in more deprived areas. Improving the health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland is one of the six high level outcomes for NPF4.

Places are important for physical and mental health and overall wellbeing. The places where children and young people grow up shape the opportunities that they have and influence the course of their life. The planning system should support development that reduces health inequalities and creates an environment that promotes active and healthier lifestyles.

The guidance indicates to planning authorities that their Spatial Strategy should take account of the need to tackle geographical disparities in wealth and health, and reduce inequalities, including gender economic inequality, provide good quality paid work and fair opportunities for work. Plans should seek to distribute economic activity and development more equitably and prioritise areas locally where growth lags behind for new business and industry opportunities. Plans should aim to build on the lessons from initiatives on community wealth-building in order to boost local job creation by developing resilient people, communities and places

The guidance makes clear that reducing inequality is a significant action in addressing health. LDPs should prioritise investment in communities experiencing deprivation to help address the socio-economic-environmental challenges faced by those communities and link that to increased adaptation and resilience to the risks from climate change faced by those communities.

LDPs should aim to create vibrant, healthier and safe places and should seek to tackle health inequalities particularly in places which are experiencing the most disadvantage. Development proposals for, or including, space or facilities for local community food growing and allotments should be supported. The guidance sets out that plans should seek to tackle environmental health inequalities, including those associated with air pollution, impacts of climate change and access to quality greenspace.

Data shows prevalence of food insecurity has consistently been higher among adults living in the most deprived areas.

The guidance also sets out 'Plans should support lifelong eating well and healthy weight through supporting diversity in healthy, affordable local food and drink retail, local food growing and local food and drink manufacturing. Plans should take steps to increase food diversity and physical activity where significant issues are identified. Food deserts should be designed out and concentrations or clusters of outlets selling less nutritious foods, in particular for take-away purposes, should be avoided and not allowed to be created where they are within walking distance of schools.'

Productive Places

Access to Employment Opportunities - Land and premises for business and employment

The evidence recognises availability and nature of employment is an important determinant of health inequalities within society.

Recognising the three drivers of poverty; 'pockets', 'prospects' and 'places', the NPF4 spatial strategy recognises that our future places will attract new investment, build business confidence, stimulate entrepreneurship and facilitate future ways of working – improving economic, social and environmental wellbeing. This will help Scotland to have a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy, with thriving and innovative businesses, quality jobs and fair work for everyone.

We want to encourage development that supports the prosperity of key sectors, builds community wealth and creates fair work and good green jobs where they are most needed. This will support people's aspirations for good quality jobs and help reduce child poverty.

The guidance sets out that Evidence Reports should include analysis of employment need, local poverty, disadvantage and inequality, to highlight where future business and industry development would provide most benefit.

Through the guidance Scottish Government wants to see LDPs set out proposals to meet requirements for employment land, infrastructure and investment in a way which supports a greener, fairer and more inclusive wellbeing economy.

The guidance provides advice on land and premises for business and employment, including that plans should encourage opportunities for home-working, live-work units, micro-businesses and community hubs. It notes that in the past industrial and business areas have tended to be located at a distance from residential areas, but that as our economy continues to evolve, there may be scope for greater integration of work and living as inter-related land uses. This can help to tackle inequalities by providing more accessible, local job opportunities which reduce the need to travel. The guidance clearly sets out that spatial strategies and site allocations should factor this in.

Digital Infrastructure

Evidence shows being older or disabled, living in a deprived area or living in social housing are risk factors for exclusion from access to digital services.

The Scottish Government wants to ensure that no areas are left behind by closing the digital divide. The planning system should continue to support the roll-out of digital infrastructure across all of Scotland, ensuring that policies recognise the importance of future-proofing infrastructure provision whilst addressing impacts on local communities and the environment.

Policies in LDPs should support the delivery of digital infrastructure, particularly in areas with gaps in connectivity and barriers to digital access.

The guidance sets out that Evidence Reports could be informed by data on infrastructure capacity and planning investment including for digital and should identify where there are gaps in coverage to inform the facilitation of improvements in digital connectivity. The guidance indicates this may be informed by community group.

Distinctive Places

City, Town Commercial and Local Centres

The SIMD data shows that centres across Scotland experience deprivation.

The issues facing towns will be place specific. The guidance sets out the Evidence Report should be informed by town centre audits for each town centre to harness its strengths, support vitality and viability, tackle weaknesses and improve resilience. Local authorities should work with community planning partners, businesses and community groups as appropriate to prepare the town centre audit.

The guidance indicates plans should set out how centres can address any significant changes in their roles and functions over time, where change is supported by a town centre strategy. LDPs should reimagine town centres and respond to challenges and opportunities arising for them to support social, economic and climate priorities. The guidance also highlights plans should identify opportunities or proposals to enhance town centres, based on the relevant strategy.

Vacant and Derelict Land and Empty Buildings

The SVDL Survey shows people living in the most deprived areas are more likely to live close to derelict land, than those in least deprived areas. The guidance sets out LDP spatial strategies should aim to help regenerate areas blighted by vacant and derelict land and buildings by prioritising development on these sites.

The reuse of vacant and derelict land and properties can contribute to climate change targets and support biodiversity, health and wellbeing improvements and resilient communities by providing much needed greenspace, growing spaces and other community benefits. The planning system should also prioritise the use of vacant and derelict land and properties including supporting temporary uses where proposals for permanent development are unlikely to be imminent. Reductions in the amount of vacant and derelict land can assist in the mitigation of its harmful effects on people's health and wellbeing.

Rural Places

The evidence shows all indicators of economic activity are highest in rural Scotland. However remote rural areas, followed by accessible rural areas had the lowest rate of business openings.

The guidance sets out that plans spatial strategies should support the sustainability and growth of rural communities and economies, and support new development in remote rural and island areas, where it can help support community resilience and sustain fragile populations. It sets out that spatial strategies should support growth of the rural economy, by promoting economic activity, innovation, and diversification while ensuring that the distinctive character of the rural area, the service function of small towns and natural and historic environment assets and cultural heritage are safeguarded and enhanced.

Next Steps

The draft Development Planning regulations and guidance cover areas highlighted in this assessment.

To identify any potential improvements, we are undertaking a full consultation on the proposed regulations and draft guidance. At the same time we are also consulting and inviting views on this Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment and associated impact assessments (covering other societal and environmental matters) and interim Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment.

We will consider the comments received when finalising the regulations and guidance. We will also finalise the assessment in response to comments received and publish a revised assessment with the finalised regulations and guidance.

Sign Off

Name: Dr Fiona Simpson

Job title: Chief Planner


Contact

Email: LDPRegsandGuidance@gov.scot