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It's out! The new National Planning Policy Framework - Printable Version

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It's out! The new National Planning Policy Framework - serpentine - 30th March 2012

Well, perhaps not in house (alternative being long-term arrangement as for the Welsh Archaeological Trusts) but I'm very uneasy about use of consultants as curators, irrespective of their former role - unless the curatorial service had simply become a separate body and wasn't commercially funded. How to guarantee consistency, impartiality, and the cumulative benefits that comes from long term stewardship? Individual or corporate gain, communal loss? Particularly as regards HERs, and the two are inextricably linked. But that's a whole new thread. :face-stir:


It's out! The new National Planning Policy Framework - kevin wooldridge - 31st March 2012

serpentine Wrote:Well, perhaps not in house (alternative being long-term arrangement as for the Welsh Archaeological Trusts) but I'm very uneasy about use of consultants as curators, irrespective of their former role - unless the curatorial service had simply become a separate body and wasn't commercially funded. How to guarantee consistency, impartiality, and the cumulative benefits that comes from long term stewardship? Individual or corporate gain, communal loss? Particularly as regards HERs, and the two are inextricably linked. But that's a whole new thread. :face-stir:

I have a lot of sympathy with that argument....in reality though, even if curatorial services are located within local authority set-ups, many are charging for 'on demand' services, in nearly all cases to private developers and in many cases to archaeological organisations requiring data for commercial purposes. Isn't that in effect commercial funding?

The NPPF rather skirts around the location and extent of the services that underwrite the heritage provision of the advice....but I have no doubt that some form of 'British' compromise will arise out of this. I wouldn't be surprised if at least one of our larger commercial archaeological ventures isn't already considering the creation of an HER management operation (that's pure speculation by the way and not in anyway rumour or gossip mongering!!)


It's out! The new National Planning Policy Framework - Wax - 31st March 2012

" I wouldn't be surprised if at least one of our larger commercial archaeological ventures isn't already considering the creation of an HER management operation (that's pure speculation by the way and not in anyway rumour or gossip mongering!!)"

Huum Listening to rumour it has been actively considered by more than one organisation as has the reverse with curators wondering about going independent to manage an archaeological service . I have been very disappointed by the failure of local authorities to realise the commercial and community potential of the HER. Many appear to have no idea of the value of the data that is technically theirs.


It's out! The new National Planning Policy Framework - kevin wooldridge - 31st March 2012

Wax Wrote:" I have been very disappointed by the failure of local authorities to realise the commercial and community potential of the HER. Many appear to have no idea of the value of the data that is technically theirs.

Precisely....perhaps the government should reward LAs who place the value of services above the price....but clearly that won't be advice coming from this current government!!


It's out! The new National Planning Policy Framework - Dinosaur - 31st March 2012

I've always found the local-government funded HERs in this part of the world extremely helpful, they'll regularly field 'academic' queries from me promptly and free of charge (don't tell their paymasters!) - rather to my surprise one curator appears to have spent part of yesterday rummaging through a 30 year old archive to find one very small find I was interested in, when I'd been expecting to have to take a trip over there to get dusty myself. Can't imagine that level of interest/helpfulness (and knowledge of ancient archives) from a 'commercial' HER, with the added complication that HERs run by commercial units are, whether consciously or not, going to be less helpful to commercial competitors (ie other units) - one HER I use occasionally won't even let us photocopy stuff, using the most extreme misinterpretation of the copyright laws anyone's ever come across, whereas I know that the (reputedly) entirely seperate local ex-council digging unit has the run of the place (worked there in the dim and distant....), and that kind of attitude would inevitably become more commonplace, the units who 'owned' the HERs would gradually come to monopolise the information contained therein. HERs should be kept neutral and open to all equally


It's out! The new National Planning Policy Framework - kevin wooldridge - 31st March 2012

Dinosaur Wrote:....one HER I use occasionally won't even let us photocopy stuff, using the most extreme misinterpretation of the copyright laws anyone's ever come across, whereas I know that the (reputedly) entirely seperate local ex-council digging unit has the run of the place ...

If there is a public service that is discriminating against one section of its public to the benefit of another, isn't that grounds for complaint to the local government Ombudsman....It seems to me that its within your power to solve this problem very easily!


It's out! The new National Planning Policy Framework - tmsarch - 31st March 2012

kevin wooldridge Wrote:...in reality though, even if curatorial services are located within local authority set-ups, many are charging for 'on demand' services, in nearly all cases to private developers and in many cases to archaeological organisations requiring data for commercial purposes. Isn't that in effect commercial funding?

Although probably semantics we're not allowed to charge for the information contained within the HER - it is considered to be in the public realm. What we charge for (in our case at an hourly rate) is for the officer time that is taken to carry out searches and collate the information.

A contractor or developer would be welcome to come to the HER and gather the information themselves, but in reality it is generally more cost effective to pay for an hour of HER officer time. Not strictly commercial funding, but cost recovery Big Grin


It's out! The new National Planning Policy Framework - serpentine - 31st March 2012

Re Dino and tmsarch's latest posts - *nods* - we all know HERs are under-funded yet I'm struggling to think of many that have been less than helpful for either personal or commercial enquiries. I have no problem with HER charging for the above reasons, and because it's one-off, tied into usage of data agreements and a fairly nominal dent in the vaults of most developments. However I feel quite strongly that there shouldn't be a charge for routine services e.g. some places I know charge for providing a brief, making monitoring visits etc, which seems more than a little cheeky when said curatorial service makes such things compulsory.
What I meant by commercial funding (in addition to Dino's point about vested interests) was more that placing curatorial services in the private sector opened it up to competitive tendering - and then there's a mess so enormous it doesn't bear thinking about :0


It's out! The new National Planning Policy Framework - Dinosaur - 1st April 2012

kevin wooldridge Wrote:If there is a public service that is discriminating against one section of its public to the benefit of another, isn't that grounds for complaint to the local government Ombudsman....It seems to me that its within your power to solve this problem very easily!

Sadly would be very difficult in practice to prove, since the said HER and unit would inevitably close ranks and deny everything (for two reputedly entirely seperate organisations there's a frightening interchangeability in the authorship of product from the two....). Fairly annoying when information in the 'public domain' is in practice unuseable since, having paid yer ?80 or whatever to even get in the building, you can't eg. photocopy the plan of what someone else has dug in the next field, sometimes even the same features! Taking notes does have its limits, particularly where graphics are concerned. They refuse to copy anything if you can't produce a written note from the author/copyright holder, which is (a) total b****cks legally, and (b) often tricky when the author is dead, untraceable or the organisation has folded. At the other end of the scale, another HER recently emailed me a 500 page report! Consistency, errrr....


It's out! The new National Planning Policy Framework - Kel - 1st April 2012

Surely data deposited in an HER is placed there for precisely the resons that you're being denied copying Dino? Copyright doesn't apply - if it's in an HER there's a presumption that it will be used accordingly (unless the depositer has placed specific restrictions on its use e.g. commercial sensitivity) and this supercedes copyright.

You can prove that you aren't being allowed to photocopy records, because you don't have a photocopy. It's not really a matter of whether the department in question denies it. If you complain to the Ombudsman, at worst, I'd expect the complaint to result in the production of a photocopy. If you made it clear that you were going through the complaints process every time you were denied access to something, they'd pretty soon get bored of dealing with serial complaints. Do they have this restriction in writing anywhere? That would be especially useful.