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Localism Bill ? Committee (9th Day) (19 Jul 2011)
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Localism Bill ? Committee (9th Day) (19 Jul 2011)

[INDENT] Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville: ...planning policy statement 5 on planning for the historic environment was introduced in March 2010. In the short period since, it has worked extremely successfully and has been supported by the heritage and development sectors. The Heritage Alliance, to which I alluded earlier, is responding separately to the Department for Communities and Local Government on the content of the NPPF....

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and

Localism Bill ? Committee (9th Day) (Continued) (19 Jul 2011)

[INDENT] Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn: ...with the amendments of my noble friend Lord Jenkin of Roding, although it is on a rather different theme. I believe that this amendment has the support of most of those concerned with the cultural heritage of this country, and certainly of those concerned with the understanding of the prehistoric and early historic past of our land. It is needed to ensure that the Bill ensures that...

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[/INDENT]


[/INDENT]Lord Renfrew presses amendment to Localism Bill : pre app and statutory HERs but the door is closed by Lord Shutt. (oh the Irony!)



Quote:Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn (Conservative)


My Lords, I rise to speak to Amendment 153B, which is grouped with the amendments of my noble friend Lord Jenkin of Roding, although it is on a rather different theme. I believe that this amendment has the support of most of those concerned with the cultural heritage of this country, and certainly of those concerned with the understanding of the prehistoric and early historic past of our land. It is needed to ensure that the Bill ensures that heritage issues are not ignored in the course of development.


Members of your Lordships' House will recall that the Heritage Protection Bill, which was supposed to be given consideration in the previous Parliament, had the intention of placing the maintenance of the historic environment record as a statutory duty upon local planning authorities. That did not happen, nor is it proposed here, but it is imperative that all developments have some regard to the historic environment and take steps not to damage it, or at least to do so only after careful consideration and with any necessary actions by way of mitigation.
These obligations do not appear on the face of the Bill and it seems very desirable that they should do so. It seems that as part of the new neighbourhood development plan process there will be no opportunity to carry out pre-application assessment in the same way as for other development under the normal planning application process. This is all the more serious since most archaeological sites are undesignated; that is, they are not scheduled monuments or otherwise protected. This point was discussed earlier in relation to Amendment 145B. This leaves a glaring loophole in the Bill.


My amendment is drawn up in such a form as to place on the developer the obligation to seek the advice of the local planning authority about the historic environment. That implies that the local authority must have access to the relevant historic environment record. This amendment deliberately sets no obligation upon each local planning authority to maintain such a record. Ideally, each will have its own record, but there may be cases where two or three local planning authorities can share a single historic environment record.



We are not setting out to be prescriptive in that respect, but it is implied in the amendment that the authority shall at least have access to such a record. Is it conceivable that development should go ahead without the local authority giving consideration to the historic environment on the basis of good and up-to-date information?



[INDENT]


[/INDENT]Read it again.. it can't be more clear and reasonable

Quote:These obligations do not appear on the face of the Bill and it seems very desirable that they should do so. It seems that as part of the new neighbourhood development plan process there will be no opportunity to carry out pre-application assessment in the same way as for other development under the normal planning application process. This is all the more serious since most archaeological sites are undesignated; that is, they are not scheduled monuments or otherwise protected. This point was discussed earlier in relation to Amendment 145B. This leaves a glaring loophole in the Bill.

and the support?

Quote:Lord McKenzie of Luton (Labour)
My Lords, we support the thrust of the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Renfrew, about local planning authorities having access to the relevant historic environment records. That must be right, and it follows on from our earlier discussion. I do not know how practical or easy it would be to put in place, but it is something we should require and strive towards.

and the response

Quote:Amendment 153B would compel developers through statute to consider heritage matters at pre-application stage. That would duplicate existing national planning policy and go far beyond the original intention of the provision. Should the need to set up further procedural requirements arise in future, new Section 61Y sets out a power to make supplementary regulations about consultation procedures. The Government would consider carefully the impact of introducing any additional prescription to the policy through those regulation-making powers.

PPS5 is becoming unworkable before it even gets a chance to work? or am I wrong? Am I right in considering this is the way of things to come, where planning officers use out of date HER databases to push through an algorithim that proposes if an area sits in a buffer zone, then decides whether the application of archaeology condition may stifile development, and anyway, not sure what it is they are looking for, so will just put on a standard clause for a thing called a watching Brief, sounds good.. brief - sounds quick.. and if they just watch, then that won't be too bad? :0

I wish I was joking, but I speak from experience of a battle with a planner who refused to acccept advice from me as the development control archaeologist (he did like reminding me about how he coould ignore my advice) and placed a watching Brief condition on a 500 house development - and better than that... only if the developer spotted something worth watching! - Reason... this is development not an episode of time team Smile

Will look out for and report on the CBA / TAF /IfA responses
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