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The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2011 Householder Permitted Development Rights (Scottish Government)

Submission from ALGAO:Scotland

Householder PD Consultation
Directorate for the Built Environment
The Scottish Government
2J (South), Victoria Quay
Edinburgh
EH6 6QQ

11 January 2011

Dear Sirs,

Consultation Paper on The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2011 Householder Permitted Development Rights

ALGAO:Scotland represents Local Authority and National Park archaeological services in Scotland and is part of the UK-wide organisation, ALGAO:UK. We welcome this opportunity to comment upon this Scottish Government consultation and wish to offer the following comments and recommendations. We note that there are a number of questions asked in relation to this consultation, but for our interests we are only responding to Question 8 Do you agree that the removal of permitted rights should only apply to conservation areas and the curtilage of listed buildings?

We are concerned that only Conservation Areas and the curtilages of listed buildings are proposed for the removal of householder permitted development rights. We believe that permitted development rights for householders should also be removed within the boundaries of World Heritage Sites, where there is no alternative protective mechanism in place such as designation as a Scheduled Ancient Monument or a Conservation Area. Not all parts of World Heritage Sites are scheduled or likely to be scheduled. For example, the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site passes through the urban areas of Old Kilpatrick, Duntocher, Kirkintilloch and Falkirk, in many areas in back gardens or under domestic buildings. The Wall and its sub-surface archaeological remains in these urban areas are not generally scheduled, because of legal complexities, meaning that the below ground archaeological assets are at peculiar risk of being damaged by uncontrolled development. There have been several archaeological excavations within the urban areas encompassing the line of the Wall, some arising from small scale developments which previously required planning consent. These excavations have demonstrated that the archaeological remains of the Wall are often well preserved in domestic gardens or under domestic buildings. An extension of householder permitted development rights within the narrow belt of the World Heritage Site as it crosses these urban areas would raise a serious risk of damage to the World Heritage Site contrary to the UNESCO principles by which it was recognised. Consideration should also be given to whether permitted development rights should be removed within the buffer zones for World Heritage Sites, such as the Antonine Wall and the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, in order to protect the settings of these Sites.

We also wish to draw to your attention that many of Scotland’s urban areas have historic cores, often medieval, containing substantive sub-surface archaeological remains. Some of these will be located within Conservation Areas, but not in every case. We are concerned that an extension of householder permitted development rights in historic urban areas can only lead to the further erosion of archaeological assets within these areas without the opportunity for an adequate archaeological record to be made. We have raised this issue several times before but without an adequate response being made to us. Development by householders should only be permitted, where they have established in advance that there is no known archaeological issue on their development site. It is possible to do this in the whole of Scotland by reference to the information contained in Sites and Monuments Records or Historic Environment Records maintained by our members on behalf of local planning authorities, many of which are available for consultation online. A reference in the General Permitted Development Order to development not being permitted where an archaeological site or area is identified in a Sites and Monuments or Historic Environment Record held by a local planning authority, would be in keeping with current national policies for the protection of the historic environment as set out in Scottish Planning Policy and Scottish Historic Environment Policy.

Yours faithfully

Carol Swanson, pp ALGAO:Scotland