Ambition 3: Places that are accessible to everyone
A Culture Strategy for Scotland was published in February 2020. It recognises Scottish Government support for equal opportunities, which includes ensuring disabled people can lead the cultural life of their choice with all aspects of cultural engagement – formal and informal – available to them. Tackling barriers to participation remains a priority for the culture sector in Scotland.
From 2016 to March 2020 a total of 1,124 homes were delivered through our Affordable Housing Supply Programme for disabled people including homes specifically for wheelchair users. The Scottish Government continues to provide strategic funding to Housing Options Scotland (HOS). Operating on a Scotland wide basis, they specialise in finding appropriate housing solutions for disabled people and people with serious health concerns. In 2019-20, HOS helped 690 clients.
Guidance on wheelchair accessible housing target was issued 2019. The requirements for local authorities to set targets across all tenures and report annually are in place.
In our 2018-19 Programme for Government, we committed to plan together with stakeholders for how our homes and communities should look and feel in 2040 and the options and choices to get there. Housing 2040 (H2040) is a 20 year strategy that sets out the Scottish Government's 20-year vision for housing in Scotland. It will recognise the importance of everyone having a home that is safe, high quality, affordable and meets their needs in the place they want to be, H2040 will set out a vision for what the Scottish Government wants homes and communities to look and feel like for the people of Scotland.
As part of our development and consultation processes we have listened carefully to what disabled people and older people have told us about the need for improved accessibility and flexibility in new homes. The H2040 strategy is due to be published soon.
The Scottish Government is currently preparing National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4), a long term plan for the development of Scotland. NPF4 will address six high level outcomes, including: meeting the housing needs of people living in Scotland including, in particular, the housing needs for disabled people and older people; improving the health and well-being of people living in Scotland; and improving equality and eliminating discrimination.
The Scottish Government absolutely supports the principle of disabled people being involved in shaping the places where they stay. The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 contains a requirement for local authority local development plan evidence reports to include a statement on the steps taken to seek the views of disabled people, and the extent to which those views have been taken into account. The 2019 Act also requires the evidence report to contain a summary of the action taken by the planning authority to support and promote the construction and adaptation of housing to meet the housing needs of disabled people and older people.
We have recently laid in Parliament new legislation amending requirements for pre-application consultation (PAC) with communities on national and major development. This is due to come into force on 1 October 2021. PAC will continue to include powers for planning authorities to require additional consultation as part of PAC, specifying with whom the prospective applicant must consult and in what form. Our 2020 consultation on the changes to PAC sought views on related guidance, including with regard to consultation with disabled people and Access Panels. We will be developing new guidance on PAC in light of those responses in the coming months.
The Accessible Travel Framework published in 2016 has been making progress in relation to its 4 outcomes agreed by disabled people. A move to an Annual Delivery plan was published in summer 2019 and set out 8 priority areas. A Progress Report (including easy read version) was published in January 2021 showing progress on the 2019-2020 Delivery Plan and actions taken to support disabled people as a result of the pandemic.
The revisions to the Scottish building standards system in 2019 introduced a requirement for Changing Places Toilets to be installed in certain types of large new non-domestic building types. The buildings covered include for example large retail buildings such as shops and malls; secondary schools providing community facilities; hospitals; assembly buildings, for example: churches, sports pavilions and stadia, museums, galleries and passenger stations for air, rail road, or sea travel and entertainment buildings, which include for example: conferences halls, exhibition and leisure centres, theatres and cinemas.
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is committed to developing and promoting inclusive access for all to the historic environment. In July 2019, HES updated its Access Guide which gives access-related information for 80 of its sites. In March 2020, HES published its British Sign Language (BSL) Plan 2020-24 setting out its ambitions in relation to communication and engagement with Deaf BSL users and the Deaf community.