ANNEX E - PARTIAL EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT
1. Equality Impact Assessment ( EQIA) is about considering how policy (by policy we mean activities, functions, strategies, programmes and services or processes) may impact, either positively or negatively, on different sectors of the population in different ways.
2. The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that the planning system is designed and delivered in a way that is sensitive and relevant to the diverse needs and experiences of all people living in Scotland. We will consider and address the impact of policy on particular groups of people (whatever their age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or belief or whether disabled or not).
3. The objective of the changes to the rules relating to householder development is to reduce the number of planning applications where the planning system can add no value. It is aimed at reducing unnecessary regulation but also ensuring that public and private amenity is sufficiently protected. The intention is that the changes would be a benefit to all householders.
4. The changes to the rules are based on physical dimensions and relationships to property boundaries and surrounding roads. Such rules have been in operation since 1950 and the effect of the changes is to alter the thresholds of acceptability.
5. The Scottish Government is not aware of any research or monitoring that has demonstrated that particular groups in society have a different propensity to make householder planning applications or that the rules as applied differently impact on any particular group.
6. In the previous consultation undertaken in 2009 a partial equalities impact assessment was undertaken and this highlighted that whilst there is general information about differing home ownership rates and general information about participation in the planning system, there is no specific information about the application of planning rules. The consultation asked for additional evidence on the potential impacts of the proposals.
7. The only information received related to the issue regarding the need for planning permission for ramps to houses as an adaptation for people with disabilities. It was pointed out that the delay and uncertainty of needing and obtaining planning permission can add additional distress at an already difficult time. However, planning authorities indicated that most types of adaptations do not require planning permission and in subsequent testing, only one such application in a sample of over 300 from 9 planning authorities was identified. As adaptations would tend to be unique to both the circumstances of the site and the householder, it was not considered that any standard set of rules for a specific Class for ramps would assist.
8. As part of this consultation on householder permitted development rights, we seek information and evidence from equality groups on the potential impacts of the proposals for the people and communities that they represent.