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A better brighter Britain but not for watching brief conditions

this is a potential nightmare in the offing; there are certain places we carry out watching briefs which invariably throw up parts of the Roman or post-Roman town; i am sure there are other towns and villages around Britain which will be equally affected in the event of this bill going through enabling small planning permissions to be passed at a local level without any input from the the district or county, and the advice which the county - or appropriately titled - archaeologist would issue in respect of conditions
i fear a loss of information and jobs on the horizon; operating on the basis a volunteer can carry out the watching brief
Your Courage Your Cheerfulness Your Resolution
Will Bring US Victory
not good ... and an utterly predictable move for this Tory government (well done whoever voted for them Sad )

if archaeologists are well embedded in their communities, can provide clear justifications for their work, if they can demonstrate the research developed from their efforts, and disseminate it to the community of large, if they have respect as professionals (an the appearance of a proper profession), if they are prepared to be much more proactive....if

oh dear.
looks like we are flipped then.
What exactly is a "neighourhood group"? How do you get elected to one? Is there a requirement to submit proper "applications" plans to the "group" for consent? What criteria can be used to grant or refuse consent? Presumably there is some kind of upper limit to the size of extension, maybe like permitted development now - so who checks this? The chances of a modern design gaining approval are slim, "groups" willl doubtless tend to like the twee. As for these "neighbourhood development orders", what are the chances of a "group" including sewage works, waste plants, factories etc in them - nobody wants them near them but we all need them, and they won't count as "nationally important".

As for the archaeology....... we can forget it.
No shock here. The drop in watching briefs will inevitably lead to a drop in paid work, even if they are just about the crappest way you can go about doing archaeology. In areas where there are (or were) a lot of watching briefs then units already on shaky ground will fold. Same goes for one man band units as watching briefs must (or at least should?) account for a lot of their work.
Silent Bob Wrote:The drop in watching briefs will inevitably lead to a drop in paid work, even if they are just about the crappest way you can go about doing archaeology.
While not ideal - and overused in cases where a broader programme of works might be far more appropriate - where someone is opening a small hole as part of an extension to a house they can be extremely effective in respect of data acquired for cost, given that around a five hundred to a grand is not uncommon where archaeology was present and which may represent well over the 1% which larger sites cost larger developments; so one must bear in mind relative scales, given that these are not a big company putting up a 1000 units, but someone putting up 3mX5m or something on the back of a house.
it is only right this work be done: as you say it's bad for the smaller companies; the big companies do not react fast enough to these jobs; i've been out on any number of such small WBs where the client has let drop either the unreal price that a larger company tendered, or more likely, that they are still awaiting their response.
but this will mean people on the dole eventually. better get me volunteering pants on.
Your Courage Your Cheerfulness Your Resolution
Will Bring US Victory
I personally wouldn't get too bothered about this proposal. It still has the 'local plan' at the core of communal planning advice and, although the article doesn't state a time limit, I am certain that this will be for a fixed period so it won't be a case of 'planning at a whim'. Infact as the current local plan system also involves public consultation, I don't really see much difference in the system.

Where things will go wrong is if 'locals' get the idea that any form of development of their property or land is allowable irrespective of whether the regulation is provided by neighbourhood groups or by local government. There is also an enforcement question. Will local planners still be enforcing the 'neighbourhood group' conscensus or will some form of 'neighbourhood watch' take over? Erm.....have they really thought this out?
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
of course it is not thought out (not in a good way at least)...the whole idea and rhetoric hijacks years and years of real grassroots activities and effective local campaigns. the supermarkets, political advertisers have realised claims to localism sell their products, regardless of the veracity of the claim, or how the business as a whole is very close to 'greewashing' and other marketing scams.

somehow we have allowed ourselves to be convinced that democracy is about 'giving power to the people' - it is not.
parliamentary democracy is a means for the people to hand over their power to trusted delegates.
reducing the role of government is NOT a move towards greater democracy.
cleaning up politics of liars, cheats, fantasises, fanatics, and those in the pocket of finance IS.
All power to the Parish Councils, then! I imagine they will be the closest to "neighbourhood group". We could even bring back the Poor Law Unions and the workhouses! They were Parish based too. Sorry. Not being very constructive today.
but if you don't need planning permission for a small extension, who will there be to monitor the works, as it is something that just will not feature on any official radar, and given that a certain amount of stuff does get by without any monitoring - even some units have reputations for currently submitting WSIs to CAS, then carrying out the work and submitting the report several weeks later without any intermediate contact; similarly we have had clients who have gone so far through the process, thought they were sufficiently clear not to bother informing us of further stages of works - and this despite being phoned up at regular intervals regarding following stages of which we were aware; i wish i had Kevin's faith in the planning process not being subverted and abused, but given what is happening, it is not going to improve, i suggest.

@madweasels of course if they bring back the workhouses that'll be the WSC (after the old MSC) and then the deserving poor can work as site assistants for their thin gruel: Local Digging for Local People; as it says below...
Your Courage Your Cheerfulness Your Resolution
Will Bring US Victory
An LPA is accountable. A "neighbourhood group" or "locals" or whatever are not: they are, by definition and indeed by design, interested parties, they have a vested interest.

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