SPP Review - Priorities for Change
Consultation pro-forma response
Name : Val Turner
Organisation : ALGAO:Scotland
Telephone No : 01595 694688, Email : val [at] shetlandamenity [dot] org
Address : c/o Shetland Amenity Trust, Garthspool, Lerwick, Shetland ZE1 0NY
The review is of the SPP as a whole – please consider connections and tensions between policy subjects
Policy Subject/s : Paragraphs 98 – 124
We welcome the intention of the SPP review to update it, focus on sustainable economic growth and emphasis on place-making. Archaeology and the Historic Environment play an important role in demonstrating the sustainability of development. It also contributes greatly towards a sense of place, providing a time-depth and context to place-making.
The SPP has generally worked well and our response has identified the points at which the Policy could benefit from being either tightened up or updated in line with the intention of the review.
Almost all recent problem cases relating to the Historic Environment have arisen where there hasn't been the recommended early engagement (as recommended in Para. 8, bullet pt 5 and in Para. 9), so we would welcome this to be emphasised even more strongly. We welcome the emphasis on the quality of outcomes (Para. 8, bullet pt 6), which encourages best practice.
What doesn’t work?
99. While recognising that it is the intention to create Marine Planning Partnerships, clarification is sought as to whether it is envisaged that Local Authorities will have their current roles extended to incorporate this or whether the MPPs will be totally separate and separately funded bodies which operate from the high water mark downwards, in which case the role of LAs in relation to fish farming becomes anomalous. We understand that this may not yet have been decided, but would welcome guidance on who is to take responsibility for management and enforcement of the complementary Development Plans and Regional Marine Plans.
99. For clarity, consistency and information.
Whilst we need to understand the issues, we ask that comments focus on the possible solutions.
What changes and/or solutions could be made to the policy to focus it on sustainable economic growth and to emphasise place making?
99. Clarification of the situation as far as possible: even if the detail is still unclear, management advice and policy implementation (including demarcation issues) could be added into the list of activities which should be complementary. Suggest adding to the statement which starts "Planning authorities should work closely with Marine Planning Partnerships and neighbouring authorities to..."
107. Suggest amending the first sentence: "When determining planning applications, authorities should take into account the direct and cumulative effects of the proposed development on the environment, including carrying capacity, visual impact and the effects on the landscape, the setting of important landward historic environment assets, the marine historic environment and the sea or loch bed." 112. Add reference to PAN 2/2011, perhaps “More information on archaeology and planning and on the role of the planning system in protecting and enhancing the historic environment is provided in PAN 2/2011: Planning and Archaeology” 111. Add to second sentence “as well as undesignated assets”. 123. Reword last sentence: “It is the responsibility of the developer to report any archaeological discoveries made during development to the Planning Authority immediately so that appropriate mitigation can be discussed and action taken without undue delay. This should be reflected within Development Plans”.
This can be difficult to enforce, although it is important that it happens, therefore some thought should be given as to appropriate penalties to deter developers from hoping to get away with it. If picked up in time, a stop notice would be appropriate, if - as is often the case – it comes to light after the event, it would be helpful for Local Authorities to be given guidance as to what constitutes an appropriate and proportionate penalty. 123. Add a reference to settings such as “and in an appropriate setting” after “in situ” in the first sentence. 123. Suggest adding “…in line with PAN 2/2011” at the end of the second sentence. 124. Suggest an introductory statement along the lines of: “Non-designated historic assets and areas of historical interest make up over 90% of Scotland’s historic environment. These assets include historic landscapes, other gardens and designed landscapes, other battlefields, woodlands and routes such as drove roads and they do not have statutory protection.” 124 Last sentence: suggest expanding to a paragraph which recognises that Local Authority Sites and Monuments Records/Historic Environment Records are a synthesis of a wide range of historic environment data, including information on both designated assets and undesignated assets. It should also be recognised that these Records require interpretation by suitably qualified and experienced professionals.