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It's out! The new National Planning Policy Framework
kevin wooldridge Wrote: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!!)

In Scotland, there's already one commercial company that acts as both contractor / consultant while also providing advice to three Councils. I don't know the details of their contract with these Councils, but looking from the outside, it doesn't appear that they're running a full HER service, rather they provide advice when planners ask for it. This doesn't seem to be very often - certainly, very little work ever seems to happen in these areas, presumably because the planners don't have enough archaeological experience to know when they should be asking for work, and the consultant is constrained by contractual details from raising issues independently. I'd would note, however, that I've never been particularly comfortable with a company that's a direct rival for work in some areas being in a regulatory position over its competitors in others - surely this gives them an unfair advantage?
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
tmsarch Wrote: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.

That's my understanding, too. A lot of Scottish HER data is available online, and can be consulted for free. However, if I'm doing an EIA for a windfarm and need to look at a couple of hundred site records, it's easier and cheaper to ask for a copy these in a digital format that can be imported directly into our system than to look at each one online.
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum

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