Stage 1: Framing
Results of framing exercise
The new architecture and place policy will not be a radical departure from previous policies, which have consistently promoted the benefits of accessibility and good design for all. The new policy, will however seek to embed the necessity for good design in public sector thinking, making connection with a raft of policies where good design can contribute to good outcomes.
As part of the policy consultation process, a focus group was held with stakeholders, to discuss how the design of the built environment impacted on people of protected characteristics. The policy consultation document was circulated to 45 organisations which represented people of protected characteristics. Ten of the total 98 responses to the consultation, were from representatives of one or more groups with protected characteristics.
Discussions were also held with representatives from a number of different disability groups at the Perth Access Panel Conference, organised by the Scottish Disability Equality Forum. This evidence gathering has informed the drafting of the policy.
A further meeting was held with representatives of the Scottish Disability Equality Forum, during the drafting of the policy, to ensure the needs of people of protected characteristics were framed correctly.
Revising this policy statement on architecture and place provides an opportunity to refresh how we promote equalities and encourage those involved in designing, delivering and protecting the built environment to fully consider the needs of all groups.
Extent/Level of EQIA required
Discussions with groups representing people of protected characteristics, confirmed our view that well-designed sustainable buildings and places should not stigmatise particular user groups. The discussions developed our understanding of the issues particular groups face in relation to the built environment.
Well-designed places should: be accessible and useable by everyone; be flexible in use; not inhibit independent living; take account of people's changing needs and society's changing demographics; and be people-focused.
Our discussions highlighted examples where the minimum requirements of planning and building control systems permit the construction of buildings where the design may be a barrier to accessibility. The provision of toilet accommodation in buildings has also sometimes been found to be unsuitable for people of particular faiths/religions.
This EQIA therefore focuses on summarising the information obtained from consultation on the needs of groups with protected characteristics, with the intention of ensuring that the policy and the actions emerging from it, delivers maximum benefit to all.