Consultation Hub

The Scottish Government wants to make it as easy as possible for those who wish to express their opinions on a proposed area of work to do so in ways which will inform and enhance that work.

You can view older Scottish Government consultations here, and view a list of archived consultations (pre-2004) here.

We Asked, You Said, We Did

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We Asked

Should Changing Places Toilets (larger sanitary accommodation for people with more complex care needs) be provided in certain large new non-domestic buildings through the Scottish building standards system. 

You Said

We received a total of 1112 responses to the consultation.  Responses were received from 1040 individuals and 72 organisations.

You were overwhelmingly supportive of the requirement for Changing Places Toilets in large new non domestic buildings.  You provided many examples of the positive impact these facilities have of the lives of people with complex care needs, their family, friends and carers.  You offered a number of suggestions on further situations where these facilities could be provided.

We Did

We have published the responses to the consultation and an analysis report summarising your responses.   

In consideration of your responses, we have amended consultation proposals. We have now published the 2019 Non-domestic Technical Handbook which introduces a new clause under standard 3.12 (sanitary facilites). This sets out where a Changing Places Toilet should be provided as part of new buildings or new building work. This provision applies from 1 October 2019.

We Asked

Scottish Crown Estate rural assets include 37,000 hectares (around 91,000 acres) of land in rural Scotland. The vast majority is let for a variety of uses including farming, residential, commercial, sporting and mineral operations. Forestry assets on these estates are managed directly by us rather than being let.

It also includes salmon fishing rights on many Scottish rivers and the rights to naturally-occurring gold and silver across much of Scotland.

Crown Estate Scotland put forward a number of key considerations related to the overall long-term objectives of managing the rural assets and asked to hear your views on how we should actively manage these assets to drive inclusive sustainable development.

You Said

The consultation was open online from 15 February to 26 April 2019. In total 33 responses were submitted online, from 9 individuals and 24 organisations. The responses provided constructive answers and suggestions to the 30 questions asked in the consultation document. In addition, some verbal feedback was gathered at community events.

Respondents said they wanted to see a real difference between land managed on a purely commercial basis and land managed by Crown Estate Scotland. The responses supported a collaborative management approach, with Crown Estate Scotland improving access to information, increasing transparency in decision-making and conducting early and meaningful engagement with affected parties.

The responses strongly supported provision for biodiversity improvement throughout the rural assets and a desire to see Crown Estate Scotland take an ambitious approach to the natural environment to achieve this.

We Did

On this page, you can find the published non-confidential responses to the consultation. We will shortly publish an analysis of the consultation responses on our website and on this consultation summary page.

We will use your feedback to inform the content of the Rural Assets Strategy. Responses will also be used to develop the Crown Estate Scotland Corporate Plan 2020-2023, which will be consulted on in autumn 2019. We will publicise the opportunity to engage with us on our Corporate Plan development widely, but if you would like to be notified via email when this consultation opens please let us know by getting in touch with us at

We Asked

We asked for views on implementing recommendations from the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) to commence the Local Connection and Intentionality provisions in the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003.

Local connection

Local connection is defined in the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 as a connection which a person has with an area because:

  • they are or were in the past normally resident in it, and this residence was of their own choice; or
  • they are employed in it; or
  • they have family associations; or
  • they have special circumstances.

Local authorities currently have the power under the Act to refer homeless households who do not have a local connection with them to another local authority where they do have such a connection. We invited views on our plans to commence the provision in the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 which allows Scottish Ministers to modify referrals relating to local connection and our intention to implement the proposal from HARSAG to suspend referrals in Scotland.


The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 currently places a duty on local authorities to investigate whether a person applying to them for accommodation became homeless or threatened with homelessness intentionally. We asked for views on our intention to commence the provision in the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 to give local authorities discretion, rather than the current duty, to investigate intentionality.

We also invited views on HARSAG’s recommendation to narrow the definition of intentionality to focus on instances of applicants ‘deliberately manipulating’ the homelessness system.

You Said

We received 72 responses to the consultation from a range of individuals, local authorities, third sector organisations and others. 

Local connection

The highest level of support (46%) was for suspending local connection referrals across all local authorities in Scotland. 26% supported modifying local connection referrals in another way and 18% supported not commencing the provisions. A further 10% did not respond to this question.

Two key themes emerged in responses. The first, from those favouring suspension, was support for people experiencing homelessness to be able to choose where they wish to settle. This was seen as offering choice to people experiencing homelessness, removing unnecessary barriers to finding permanent accommodation and ensuring that homelessness services can be delivered at the point of need.

The second key theme, from those not favouring suspension, was concern over the potential increase to the numbers of referrals in areas that do not have the resources to meet needs.  Various different types of local authority were cited, including major cities such as Glasgow or Edinburgh, urban areas or rural and island and highland areas.


The highest level of support (50%) was for removing the duty and giving local authorities the discretion to assess households for intentionality.  33% supported not removing the duty and a further 17% did not respond to this question.

The main theme cited in support of removing the duty was that being labelled as intentionally homeless is often unfair and does not reflect the true picture of individuals’ circumstances. It was felt by many that the removal of the duty in favour of discretion would benefit vulnerable people in particular so that they can get the help and support they need.

For those in favour of not removing the duty, a number of potential issues were cited. These included: the potential for a lack of consistency of approach if the duty was reduced to a power, both at local authority level and between local authorities; concerns that people could manipulate the system; and the potential that individuals might no longer see the need to take personal responsibility to retain their accommodation (e.g. not paying rent).

We Did

It is our intention to commence the Local Connection and Intentionality provisions in the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 in November 2019, after further discussions with COSLA, local authorities and others around issues raised in the consultation. For Intentionality, the provisions would come into force immediately but for Local Connection a process would begin for the Scottish Government to consult on and issue a Ministerial Statement within 12 months of commencement on how these new powers are to be used. Subject to the outcome, this would be followed by a further Scottish Statutory Instrument laid in the Scottish Parliament to implement the changes.

We will carefully consider the views expressed on narrowing the definition of intentionality to focus on instances of applicants ‘deliberately manipulating’ the homelessness system.  As stated in the consultation paper, there are currently no provisions in the legislation for the definition to be changed but the responses to the consultation will be very helpful as we consider the options for taking this work forward.

We will monitor the impact of the changes on individuals experiencing homelessness, local authorities and third sector providers using evidence from current data collections, and we will publish this data regularly. We will also set out plans for further engagement and possible research to help more fully understand the impact of the changes.

We have published the responses that gave permission and an analysis of the consultation responses can be found here.