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DCAN 4: Restaurants, Cafes and Fast Food Outlets
Appendix 1: Equality Impact Assessment Executive Summary

Assessment of Impact

  • The people most affected by the Advice Note will be all those submitting planning applications for restaurants, cafés and fast food outlets.
  • An analysis was carried out of all planning applications received in relation to restaurants, cafés and fast food outlets dating back to 1998. Ethnic minorities were found to represent just under 20%4 of those who made planning applications for these uses. As ethnic minorities in Northern Ireland (including Chinese, Indian, Pakistani and Travelling communities) comprise only around 1% of the total population5 , it is likely that the Advice Note will have a differential impact on certain racial groups.
  • In accordance with Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 Opens link in a new browser window, a preconsultation discussion was held with the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM) Opens link in a new browser window, an umbrella organisation which represents a number of affiliated groups. This was used to assess the potential impact of the guidance on persons of different racial groups.
  • In addition, research carried out by the University of Ulster and data from the Multi-Cultural Resource Centre (NI) was also examined.

Impact of Policy

  • It is intended that the Development Control Advice Note (DCAN) will have a positive impact by providing more comprehensive and up to date guidance for those people who are applying for planning permission for restaurants, cafés and fast food outlets.
  • The only negative impact on the Section 75 groups, which was identified, involved language barriers. It was considered that this could prevent access to the guidance provided by the Advice Note. The pre-consultation discussion with NICEM and an analysis of Planning Service data identified the Chinese community as the group most likely to be affected.

Outcome of consultations

  • As a result of initial consultations with NICEM the Department produced a summary of the document in Chinese, and this was attached to the public consultation draft of the DCAN. 4 Source: Planning applications database – Planning Service (Northern Ireland) 5 Source: Multi-Cultural Resource Centre (NI) 17
  • When producing the public consultation draft, the Department also took a proactive role by writing directly to a number of Chinese groups in Chinese, and offering to provide a presentation with interpreter provision which would assist in explaining the purpose of the guidance. However, no response was received from any of the ethnic minority communities in Northern Ireland
  • After the public consultation draft was issued, a number of responses were received generally welcoming the Equality Impact Assessment. Several of the consultees suggested that the summary of the document should be produced in different languages.


  • The Department sought the advice of NICEM on whether there was a need to produce a summary of the document in several different languages. NICEM felt that the Chinese community would benefit most from a translation in order to help overcome any language difficulties. NICEM expressed the view that as other ethnic groups did not experience the same language difficulties it was not considered that a summary of the document was required in other languages. This view was supported by the results of recent research.
  • A summary has therefore been provided in Chinese, and this will accompany the final version of the published document. However, if it were considered, as a result of monitoring, that other ethnic groups would benefit from a summary of the Advice Note in a different language, this will be facilitated.
  • The full text of the Equality Impact Assessment is available on the Northern Ireland Civil Service website: Opens link in a new browser window
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