Information

Planning - permitted development rights review - phase 2: consultation

We are seeking views on proposed changes to Permitted Development Rights (PDR), as well as the use classes order, which are being considered through phase 2 of the review.


Annex C: Draft Equality Impact Assessment Record

Title of policy/ practice/ strategy/ legislation etc.

Permitted Development Rights Review – Phase 2

Minister

Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth

Lead official

Tom Winter

Officials involved in the EQIA

Name

Lyndsey Murray Alan Cameron

Team

Planning and Architecture Division

Directorate: Division: Team

Local Government: Planning and Architecture Division

Is this new policy or revision to an existing policy?

Revision to Existing Policy

Screening

Policy Aim

Permitted development rights (PDR) refer to those forms of development which are granted planning permission through national legislation, meaning they can be carried out without a planning application having to be submitted to (and approved by) the planning authority. Specifically, PDR are contained within the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 ("the GPDO").

The Scottish Government is currently undertaking a review of PDR in Scotland. This review involves taking forward new and extended PDR for a wide range of development types. Through Phase 2 of the programme, we are considering how changes to PDR, as well as the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Scotland) Order 1997 (UCO)[39], could help to support:

  • The rollout of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.
  • The resilience and recovery of city, town and local centres.
  • Operational development at Scottish ports.

The measures proposed as part of Phase 2 would:

  • Increase the scale of EV chargers that may be installed under PDR, broaden the locations where PDR apply and extend the scope of the PDR to include associated apparatus and equipment.
  • Provide greater flexibility to change the use of certain buildings and place furniture outside premises.
  • Align port operators' PDR with those of airports.

The proposals have been informed by a sustainability appraisal incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) requirements, which was subject to public consultation in November 2019. The Phase 2 proposals are accompanied by an update to the sustainability appraisal and draft SEA Post Adoption Statement.

By removing the need to seek planning permission before carrying out specified development or works, PDR and the UCO can help to provide greater certainty for applicants and save time and money associated with preparing a planning application. In doing so, this can help to promote wider Scottish Government objectives – including those related to EV charging, centres and ports.

Who will it affect?

The measures would, if taken forward, grant planning permission for specified forms of development (or provide that specified changes of use are not development for planning purposes). The effect is to allow relevant development to be carried out without a planning application needing to be submitted to and approved by the local authority. Key parties affected are:

  • Developers, operators and landowners able to carry out development without preparing planning application
  • Planning authorities no longer having to handle and determine planning applications
  • Members of the public affected by developments carried out under PDR (impacts, whether positive or negative, will depend on the nature of development)

As noted above, the proposed measures are intended to, amongst other things:

  • Encourage the rollout of EV charging infrastructure, in doing so helping to reduce vehicle emissions and tackle climate change.
  • Promote the resilience, regeneration and recovery of city, town and local centres.
  • Support operational development at ports.

To this extent, there will be benefits to the general public – particularly EV users and those who live in, work in or visit centres. This includes people with protected characteristics.

What might prevent the desired outcomes being achieved?

The key factor which may prevent the desired outcomes being achieved is if the types of development provided for by PDR/UCO changes are not brought forward.

The Scottish Government can amend legislation such that specified development can be carried out without an application for planning permission being required. While that may help to incentivise such development, it does not – in and of itself – guarantee delivery. It is for businesses, operators,

developers and other relevant parties to determine whether to carry out development under any new provisions.

Stage 1: Framing

Results of framing exercise

Overall, the measures under consideration through Phase 2 of the PDR review are expected to have positive impacts on all groups, including those with protected characteristics.

Insofar as the measures support the roll-out (and increased accessibility) of EV charging infrastructure, there may be positive impacts on particular groups. The Social and Equality Impact Assessment (SEQIA) undertaken alongside the National Transport Strategy 2 identified potential positive impacts on children and young people (who are more likely to be adversely affected by poor air quality and long term effects of climate change) as well as older people and disabled people (both of whom are more vulnerable to poor air quality). The Cleaner Air for Scotland 2: equalities impact assessment noted that differences in vulnerability to air pollution is a complex issue. The evidence is inconsistent, although research in older adults and studies that have used estimates of exposure based on place of residence suggest that the effects of air pollution are more pronounced in women. It also noted that epidemiological studies suggest a link between air pollution exposure and premature birth, with the strongest evidence for gaseous pollutants (O3 and SO2) and weaker evidence for particulates (PM2.5 and PM10). The strongest evidence from epidemiological studies of pregnancy outcomes is that air pollution affects foetal growth and birth weight.

Insofar as the measures support the resilience and recovery of centres, there are likely to be positive impacts for those with protected characteristics. Thriving centres providing a range of accessible facilities and services are associated with multiple social, economic and environmental benefits. Indeed the recent report A New Future for Scotland's Town Centres by the Town Centre Review Group highlighted that successful centres which offer diverse and mixed uses can help to enhance a sense of community, place and advance equality by enabling all members of society to participate fully. The Phase 2 consultation document does recognise that although they are intended to promote greater flexibility and vibrancy the proposed UCO changes have the potential to see a loss of certain uses in particular locations, resulting in clustering of uses rather than diverse and mixed uses.

The initial framing exercise has indicated that specific proposals under consideration could potentially have negative impacts on people with certain protected characteristics – if they lead to uncontrolled provision of EV chargers and furniture located on pavements. A number of evidence sources, such as Transport Scotland's Inclusive Design in Town Centres and Busy Street Areas, highlight that obstructions located on the street can affect the inclusiveness of the public realm in a way that disproportionately impacts disabled people. This includes wheelchair users, people with visual/hearing impairments as well as learning/non-visible disabilities. Obstructions and

street clutter may also have negative impacts on older people (age protected characteristic) and people using pushchairs/buggies (pregnancy and maternity protected characteristic).

However, the planning system is not the only regulatory process which has a bearing on the inclusiveness of the built environment. Notwithstanding any new/extended PDR, other controls would continue to apply to proposed development located on the street – such as consenting under Roads legislation and licensing. Land ownership (e.g. public ownership of non-private roads) can also influence outcomes positively. The Phase 2 consultation seeks views on whether these non-planning controls (and/or conditions attached to any new PDR) would be sufficient to ensure proper consideration of inclusive access if new PDR are taken forward for on-street chargers and furniture located outside certain premises serving food and drink.

Extent/Level of EQIA required

Overall, the proposals are considered to have positive impacts.

There is potential for certain measures under consideration to have negative impacts if taking them forward leads to uncontrolled provision of certain development/equipment/structures on or adjacent to pavements. We will seek views on this point – and on the EqIA more generally – through the Phase 2 consultation.

Stage 2: Data and evidence gathering, involvement and consultation

Include here the results of your evidence gathering (including framing exercise), including qualitative and quantitative data and the source of that information, whether national statistics, surveys or consultations with relevant equality groups.

Characteristic[39] Evidence gathered and Strength/quality of evidence Source
Age Disability Pregnancy and Maternity Obstructions located within the public realm, streets and paths can adversely affect inclusive access for a number of different groups, including individuals with protected characteristics. Inclusive Design in Town Centres and Busy Street Areas: Transport Scotland Research Report (February 2021): Inclusive Design in Town Centres and Busy Street Areas | Transport Scotland Going Further: Scotland's Accessible Travel Framework (2016) Going Further: Scotland's Accessible Travel Framework (transport.gov.scot) Scotland's Fourth National Planning Framework: Draft – Integrated Impact Assessment Society and Equalities Impact Assessment (November 2021): Supporting documents - Scotland 2045: fourth National Planning Framework - draft: society and equalities impact assessment - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) Weekly Poll – 20-minute Neighbourhoods (Week Beginning 9 November 2020) | Have Your Say... (yoursayondisability.scot)
Age Sex Disability Groups who are more vulnerable to transport emissions include children, women, older people and disabled people. These groups are likely to benefit from measures which improve air quality. Measures to mitigate impacts of climate change are likely to advance equality of opportunity for young people and children who are more likely to experience adverse impacts in their lifetime. Work to ensure that EV charging infrastructure is accessible by all users will provide equal opportunities to disabled people to purchase/use an EV. National Transport Strategy 2 Delivery Plan – Social and Quality Impact Assessment (October 2021): NTS2 Delivery Plan - Social and Equality Impact Assessment (SEQIA) 2021-09-03 (transport.gov.scot) Cleaner Air for Scotland 2 – Equalities Impact Assessment (October 2020) Stage 2: Data and Evidence Gathering - Cleaner Air for Scotland 2: equalities impact assessment - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
All The provision of accessible shops, services and amenities has the potential to encourage active travel and promote social capital and inclusion – with social, economic and environmental benefits for all people, including those with protected characteristics. "We need to ensure there are good quality, affordable and accessible places and spaces where people spend time, gather and meet. 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 and for disabled people" (Social Capital in Scotland report) "The best of our town centres and our most successful towns offer a sustainable, local economy and society with diverse and mixed uses attracting and meeting the needs and desires of their local communities. They are centres that enhance a sense of community, place, identity and that advance equality by enabling all members of society to participate fully" (New Future for Scotland's Town Centres) Scotland's Fourth National Planning Framework: Draft – Integrated Impact Assessment Society and Equalities Impact Assessment Supporting documents - Scotland 2045: fourth National Planning Framework - draft: society and equalities impact assessment - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) Social Capital in Scotland: report (February 2020) Supporting documents - Social capital in Scotland: report - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) A New Future for Scotland's Town Centres: Town Centre Action Plan Review Group Report (February 2021) A New Future for Scotlands Town Centres (www.gov.scot)

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

Having considered the data and evidence you have gathered, this section requires you to consider the potential impacts – negative and positive – that your policy might have on each of the protected characteristics. It is important to remember the duty is also a positive one – that we must explore whether the policy offers the opportunity to promote equality and/or foster good relations.

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 The proposed measures provide for certain types of development or works to be carried out without an application for planning permission. It is not considered that this would raise issues with regards to discrimination, harassment or victimisation.
Advancing equality of opportunity x To the extent that they support the provision and/or retention of accessible facilities, services and amenities in Scotland's centres, the measures should have a positive impact on people of all ages. The Phase 2 consultation document acknowledges that the effects of the proposed UCO changes may vary and in some places could lead to loss and/or clustering of particular uses. Measures that promote the efficient rollout of EV charging infrastructure should have positive impact on young people and children, who are disproportionately affected by air pollution and the long term effects of climate change. Older people are also more vulnerable to air pollution, so are likely to benefit from measures that improve air quality. PDR relating to furniture and EV chargers located on or adjacent to pavements could potentially have negative impacts if they lead to uncontrolled provision of such developments. This is because obstructions and street clutter can adversely affect some older people disproportionately. However, inclusive access issues can be considered and controlled through mechanisms other than planning, which will continue to apply even if planning permission is granted via PDR. The Phase 2 consultation seeks views on this point and on any conditions and limitations on any new PDR.
Promoting good relations among and between different age groups x Proposals under consideration are intended to promote certain types of development or works by removing the need to seek consent before carrying them out. It is not considered that this would have an impact on relations between different age groups.
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 proposed measures provide for certain types of development or works to be carried out without an application for planning permission. It is not considered that this would raise issues with regards to discrimination, harassment or victimisation.
Advancing equality of opportunity x To the extent that they support the provision and/or retention of accessible facilities, services and amenities in Scotland's centres, the measures should have a positive impact on disabled people. The Phase 2 consultation document acknowledges that the effects of the proposed UCO changes may vary and in some places could lead to loss and/or clustering of particular uses. Measures that promote the efficient rollout of EV charging infrastructure should have positive impact on disabled people, who are more vulnerable to transport emissions. PDR relating to furniture and EV chargers located on or adjacent to pavements could potentially have negative impacts if they lead to uncontrolled provision of such developments. This is because obstructions and street clutter can adversely affect some disabled people disproportionately. However, inclusive access issues can be considered and controlled through mechanisms other than planning, which will continue to apply even if planning permission is granted via PDR. The Phase 2 consultation seeks views on this point and on any conditions and limitations on any new PDR.
Promoting good relations among and between disabled and non-disabled people x Proposals under consideration are intended to promote certain types of development or works by removing the need to seek consent before carrying them out. It is not considered that this would have an impact on relations between disabled and non-disabled people.
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 The proposed measures provide for certain types of development or works to be carried out without an application for planning permission. It is not considered that this would raise issues with regards to discrimination.
Advancing equality of opportunity x To the extent that they support the provision and/or retention of accessible facilities, services and amenities in Scotland's centres, the measures should have a positive impact on all people – including both men and women. The Phase 2 consultation document acknowledges that the effects of the proposed UCO changes may vary and in some places could lead to loss and/or clustering of particular uses. Measures that promote the efficient rollout of EV charging infrastructure should have positive impact on all people, by helping to improve air quality and tackle climate change.
Promoting good relations between men and women x Measures under consideration are intended to promote certain types of development or works by removing the need to seek consent before carrying them out. It is not considered that this would affect relations between men and women.
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 x The proposed measures provide for certain types of development or works to be carried out without an application for planning permission. It is not considered that this would raise issues with regards to discrimination.
Advancing equality of opportunity x To the extent that they support the provision and/or retention of accessible facilities, services and amenities in Scotland's centres, the measures should have a positive impact on all people. The Phase 2 consultation document acknowledges that the effects of the proposed UCO changes may vary and in some places could lead to loss and/or clustering of particular uses. Measures that promote the efficient rollout of EV charging infrastructure should have positive impact on all people, by helping to improve air quality and tackle climate change. PDR relating to furniture and EV chargers located on or adjacent to pavements could potentially have negative impacts if they lead to uncontrolled provision of such developments. This is because obstructions and street clutter can adversely affect some people disproportionately – including those with prams or pushchairs. However, inclusive access issues can be considered and controlled through mechanisms other than planning, which will continue to apply even if planning permission is granted via PDR. The Phase 2 consultation seeks views on this point and on any conditions and limitations on any new PDR.
Promoting good relations x The proposals under consideration are intended to promote certain types of development or works by removing the need to seek consent before carrying them out. It is not considered that this would have an impact on 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 x The proposed measures provide for certain types of development or works to be carried out without an application for planning permission. It is not considered that this would raise issues with regards to discrimination.
Advancing equality of opportunity x To the extent that they support the provision and/or retention of accessible facilities, services and amenities in Scotland's centres, the measures should have a positive impact on all people. The Phase 2 consultation document acknowledges that the effects of the proposed UCO changes may vary and in some places could lead to loss and/or clustering of particular uses. Measures that promote the efficient rollout of EV charging infrastructure should have positive impact on all people, by helping to improve air quality and tackle climate change.
Promoting good relations x The proposals under consideration are intended to promote certain types of development or works by removing the need to seek consent before carrying them out. It is not considered that this would have an impact on 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 The proposed measures provide for certain types of development or works to be carried out without an application for planning permission. It is not considered that this would raise issues with regards to discrimination.
Advancing equality of opportunity x To the extent that they support the provision and/or retention of accessible facilities, services and amenities in Scotland's centres, the measures should have a positive impact on all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. The Phase 2 consultation document acknowledges that the effects of the proposed UCO changes may vary and in some places could lead to loss and/or clustering of particular uses. Measures that promote the efficient rollout of EV charging infrastructure should have positive impact on all people, by helping to improve air quality and tackle climate change.
Promoting good relations x The proposals under consideration are intended to promote certain types of development or works by removing the need to seek consent before carrying them out. It is not considered that this would have an impact on relations between people of different sexual orientation.
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 The proposed measures provide for certain types of development or works to be carried out without an application for planning permission. It is not considered that this would raise issues with regards to discrimination.
Advancing equality of opportunity x To the extent that they support the provision and/or retention of accessible facilities, services and amenities in Scotland's centres, the measures should have a positive impact on all people, regardless of their race. The Phase 2 consultation document acknowledges that the effects of the proposed UCO changes may vary and in some places could lead to loss and/or clustering of particular uses. Measures that promote the efficient rollout of EV charging infrastructure should have positive impact on all people, by helping to improve air quality and tackle climate change.
Promoting good race relations x The proposals under consideration are intended to promote certain types of development or works by removing the need to seek consent before carrying them out. It is not considered that this would have an impact on race relations.

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 The proposed measures provide for certain types of development or works to be carried out without an application for planning permission. It is not considered that this would raise issues with regards to discrimination.
Advancing equality of opportunity x To the extent that they support the provision and/or retention of accessible facilities, services and amenities in Scotland's centres, the measures should have a positive impact on all people, regardless of their religion or belief. The Phase 2 consultation document acknowledges that the effects of the proposed UCO changes may vary and in some places could lead to loss and/or clustering of particular uses. Measures that promote the efficient rollout of EV charging infrastructure should have positive impact on all people, by helping to improve air quality and tackle climate change.
Promoting good relations x The proposals under consideration are intended to promote certain types of development or works by removing the need to seek consent before carrying them out. It is not considered that this would have an impact on relations between people of different religions or beliefs.
Do you think the policy impacts on people because of their marriage or civil partnership?
Marriage and Civil Partnership[40] Positive Negative None Reasons for your decision
Eliminating unlawful discrimination x The proposed measures provide for certain types of development or works to be carried out without an application for planning permission. It is not considered that this would raise issues with regards to discrimination.

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?

Positive impacts for all groups associated with measures that support the rollout of EV infrastructure and the resilience, regeneration and recovery of Scotland's centres. PDR related to furniture and EV charging infrastructure have the potential to affect inclusive access if they lead to uncontrolled provision: the consultation seeks views on whether and how such impacts can be properly mitigated.

Is the policy directly or indirectly discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010[41]?

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

The EqIA analysis has assisted with identification of potential effects – positive and negative – of emerging PDR and UCO proposals. We will use the Phase 2 consultation to seek views on the issues and potential mitigations identified.

Consultation will enable respondents to highlight potential issues and impacts that may not have been identified to date. The further evidence gathered through consultation will inform the refinement and implementation of proposed measures.

Monitoring and Review

The Phase 2 will be subject to a 12 week period of public consultation, which will provide the opportunity for a range of stakeholders to comment on the proposed measures. The feedback received will help to inform the development, refinement and implementation of final proposals. These will be given effect through amendments to the GPDO and the UCO. Once the final regulations are prepared, consideration will be given to whether additional guidance, advice and information is required to help developers, planning authorities and other interested parties to understand the effect of the provisions.

As noted in the Post Adoption Statement that accompanies the Phase 2 consultation we will give further consideration to monitoring and set out our proposals following the consultation. This could involve various approaches such as liaison with planning authorities, developers and statutory bodies, as well as commissioning research.

Subsequent Phases of the PDR programme will consider changes to PDR for other development types.

Stage 5 - Authorisation of EQIA

Please confirm that:

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

Yes

  • 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

  • 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:

Not applicable

Declaration

I am satisfied with the equality impact assessment that has been undertaken for PDR Review – Phase 2 and give my authorisation for the results of this assessment to be published on the Scottish Government's website.

Name: Fiona Simpson

Position: Chief Planner, Scottish Government

Authorisation date: 21 April 2022

Contact

Email: Planning.PDR2@gov.scot

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