Consultation Response: Local Living and 20 Minute Neighbourhoods

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has submitted a response to the Scottish Government’s public consultation on the Draft Planning Guidance for Local Living and 20 Minute Neighbourhoods.

Among the points raised:

The report Living Well Locally 20 Minute Communities in the Highlands and Islands8 is referenced in the consultation document. It notes concerns that the 20-minute neighbourhood concept “could lead to further centralisation of services” the impact of which “would be to reinforce poverty, inequality and outmigration”.

If Gaelic users then leave their community to live elsewhere this can have two impacts. First, a reduction in the number of Gaelic speakers in the affected area.

Second, affected households may move to an area where Gaelic is much less used, and over time, they may no longer regularly use the language – or may lose it altogether.

The result is a reduction in the use of Gaelic. That runs counter to the National Gaelic Language Plan’s aim that the language is used more often, by more people.

The viability of these communities requires appropriate and flexible planning measures. We therefore welcome the approach set out in the ICIA and the draft guidance: in particular, the following points made in these documents.

Read the full response here.

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