Community Plan Rural Proofing Report - Document C

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Document C

Rural Proofing Report

November 2022

The Community Plan contains the vision and aspirations for the Causeway Coast and Glens area for 2030. 
The Community Plan Delivery Plan sets out the implementation of strategic actions for the community plan 

This document contains an assessment of the potential impact of ‘A Better Future Together’ for Causeway Coast and Glens rural stakeholders

Causeway Coast and Glens Draft Community Plan
Rural Proofing - Screening Report 


This Rural Proofing screening report has been adapted by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Community Planning Manager from ‘Thinking Rural: The Essential Guide to Rural Proofing’. This is the former Department of Agriculture and Rural Developments guidance document. While it is not a legal requirement that Local Government rural proofs its policies, it is good practice. The Community Plan is a shared document across local government, statutory partners, and government departments. 


Legislative Requirement: 

The Development, implementation and monitoring of the Community Plan is a legislative function prescribed in the Local Government Act (NI) 2014. 



Upon consideration, it is concluded that an in-depth rural proofing process is not required as any potential detrimental impact in rural areas is mitigated by the area-based approach to design and delivery of local action plans. These action plans will support achievement of the outcomes in the community plan and will reflect local need. 

The Community Plan is a high-level document that demonstrates no difference in its application between urban and rural dwellers. The impact of subsidiary action plans, strategies, policies, and programmes will be considered separately at an appropriate level. 

The Responsible Authority is Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. 

Contact Officer: Elizabeth Beattie, Head of Policy and Community Planning 





Background to rural proofing 

Rural Proofing is a useful tool for making effective policies. It also demonstrates to rural dwellers you have considered the impact of policies and plan on them and their area. Rural proofing helps you consider the potential impact, both intended and unintended, on rural areas and rural dwellers of a proposed policy or plan. 

Generally, people have their own idea of what rural means. You might think it means open countryside with scattered dwellings. Others may feel it is the small village with one pub, a church, and a school. It is important that when undertaking a rural proofing exercise, you have a clear definition of what rural is from the perspective of your policy or plan. 

Ultimately rural areas will differ from urban areas due to their greater geographical isolation, population dispersal, and longer distances from key services like health, education or leisure facilities and limited local employment opportunities. 

Rural proofing is part of the policy making process and rigorously scrutinises proposed policies or plans. It should ensure fair and equitable treatment of rural communities and that a policy does not indirectly have a detrimental impact on rural dwellers and rural communities. Rural proofing must consider policy implementation so that services will be delivered to rural areas in an equitable manner. The process should also involve monitoring the implementation of the policy to ensure that this is achieved. 

“Equitable” means policies should treat rural areas in a fair or reasonable way. This does not mean that rural areas should have an equal level of resources as urban, but rather that policies demonstrate proportionality to rural areas, considering their unique characteristics. For example, if we were to provide a bus service in a rural area, equitable treatment would be a reasonable provision to meet needs, but an equal service would require the same frequency and number of buses to rural areas as urban areas - regardless of need. 

The purpose of rural proofing is to ensure “equitable” treatment for rural areas through policy responses that are proportionate to the need.

Application of the screening criteria was applied by following ‘‘Thinking Rural: The Essential Guide to Rural Proofing’ written by the former Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Northern Ireland.

Table 1 
Responsible Authority:                                   
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council (as facilitator of the Community Plan) 

Contact Address/ Person:                               Mrs Elizabeth Beattie 
                                                                           Head of Policy and Community Planning
                                                                           Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
                                                                           7 Connell Street
                                                                           Co. Londonderry
                                                                           028 7772 2226

Date of Screening                                             November 2022

Title of Plan                                                        A Better Future Together for Causeway Coast and Glens Community Plan
                                                                            and Delivery Plan 

Purpose of Plan                                                The Community Plan is a strategic long-term plan for the geographical area of
                                                                            Causeway Coast and Glens which will inform the design and delivery of public
                                                                            services. The Plan provides the framework for collaboration among a number
                                                                            of Community Planning Partners.  The associated delivery plan sets out the
                                                                            strategic actions for implementation.
What Prompted the Plan
(i.e. legislation, regulatory
or administrative provision)
                             The Council has a legislative duty, under the Local Government Act (NI) 2014
                                                                             to ‘initiate, maintain, facilitate, and participate in Community Planning’. The
                                                                            Community Planning (Partners) Act requires statutory partners to participate
                                                                            and assist the Council in the discharge of its duties in relation to Community

                                                                             The Council has a legislative duty, under the Local Government Act (NI) 2014 to
                                                                             ‘initiate, maintain, facilitate, and participate in Community Planning’. The
                                                                             Community Planning (Partners) Act requires statutory partners to participate and
                                                                             assist the Council in the discharge of its duties in relation to Community Planning.
                                                                            The review of the Community Plan is a statutory requirement. The review was due
                                                                            to be completed by June 2021. An extensive plan of engagement and consultation
                                                                            due to commence in early in 2020 was not possible due to the pandemic, however,
                                                                            an Interim Review of the Community Plan was completed in May 2021. Between
                                                                            April and October 2022 an in-depth review of the Community Plan and Delivery
                                                                            Plan was undertaken. 

Subject:                                                              Community Planning 

Period covered by the Plan:                             10-15 years with a review of performance against outcomes published every two
                                                                             years and a review of the plan every four years. 

Area covered by the Plan:                                Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area (map attached at Appendix 3) 

Summary of nature/ content of the Plan:        The Community Plan will set out the long-term vision, desired outcomes and
                                                                             indicators for the social, economic and environmental well-being of the area. 
                                                                             This will include: 
                                                                              -   Development of a baseline of the existing conditions in the area. 
                                                                              -   An integrated view of the social, economic, and environmental needs of the
                                                                                  area in the context of regional, national and European policies and strategies
                                                                                  and taking account of communities and issues that extend into neighbouring
                                                                                  council areas and jurisdictions. 
                                                                              -   Long-term vision for the area. 
                                                                              -   Long-term outcomes against which progress can be monitored and evaluated via
                                                                                   a set of indicators. 
                                                                              -   A focus on delivering in the short to medium term to achieve the long-term vision 
                                                                              -   Governance structure and delivery arrangements 

Are there any proposed Plan objectives? 
a. Are these attached?
                                        Our Community Plan (2017-2030) has three population outcomes supported by
                                                                               twelve intermediate outcomes rather than objectives. The outcomes and
                                                                               intermediate outcomes are attached to the end of this document along with
                                                                               the strategic actions contained within the associated delivery plan (Appendix 1)

Section 1: Design

Section 2:
Evidence Are the predicted impacts
supported by evidence?  

Section 3:
Has the consultation response identified any potential different impacts on terms of rural areas/communities?    


Section 4:
Monitoring and Outcomes