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Consultation on General Permitted Development Amendment Order 2012 (Scotland)

David Reekie
Scottish Government
Planning Legislation and Performance
2J (South)
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh
EH6 6QQ

20th June 2011

Dear Sir,

Consultation on General Permitted Development Amendment Order 2012

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 pre-consultation draft and wish to offer the following responses to the consultation.

ALGAO:Scotland generally welcomes the proposed General Permitted Development Amendment Order 2012 and considers these amendments will enhance the protection to Scotland’s Historic Environment (in particular the 95% of which is not designated) from non-domestic development than currently exists by bringing it more inline with PAN 2/2011, SHEP and the recent Annex F: Consolidated GPDO for Microgeneration for Non-Domestic Properties.

ALGAO:Scotland believes that this exemption of ‘sites of archaeological interest’, as defined in these documents, should be extended to all permitted development orders. It is regrettable that this approach was not taken under the recent extension of Householder Permitted Development (PD).

Q1. Are there any costs or benefits not identified in the draft BRIA?

The proposals discussed above will have business implications in requiring developers to address potential archaeological concerns when proposed works are planned. However, procedures to deal with these can be quite straightforward, including how to assess areas of unknown archaeological potential, by seeking early advice from the Local Authority Archaeological advisor as per the guidance contained in Pan 2/2011.

Furthermore it has been recognised that there are significant financial benefits to the Scottish economy in preserving and promoting Scotland’s historic environment, as expressed in the 2008 HEACS Report The Economic Impact of the Historic Environment in Scotland and more recently the 2011 Tourism Intelligence Report A Future from our Past –Making the most of rural heritage tourism opportunities.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
Q2. Please provide details of any significant environmental effects (positive or negative) which you think may arise in relation to the potential changes discussed in this paper.

We feel that the proposed adoption of protection to all sites of archaeological interest will have significant positive environmental benefits leading to better protection, public awareness and management of Scotland’s Archaeological assets.

Equality Impact Assessment
Q3. Please provide details of any specific issues for any of the equality groups (including race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender or religion and belief) which you think may arise in relation to the potential changes discussed in this paper.

No specific issues have been identified as increased protection and understanding of our heritage assets engages with equality groups and can contribute significantly to all communities and individuals sense of place and local identity.

Q2. Do you have any information or can you suggest sources of relevant
information on the costs and/or benefits detailed in the BRIA?

No comment

Q3. We would appreciate your assessment of the potential equalities impact
our proposals may have on different sectors of the population. A partial EQIA
is attached to this consultation at Annex 3 for your comment and feedback.

We do not consider the proposed changes will have any equalities impact.

Part 1. Amendments to existing classes of permitted development.

Q4. Should we retain class 26? If class 26 should be retained are there any
changes to the controls that would strike a better balance?

No as the deposition of mineral waste should be controlled as any other development and not exempted from planning controls. Such actions could by implication affect significant underlying Industrial Archaeological Remains and the setting of surrounding heritage assets, and therefore should be excluded from permitted development rights.

Q5. With regard to the proposed amendments to existing classes;
(a) Is the granting of permission, and the restrictions and conditions, clear?

Yes

(b) Is the granting of permission, and the restrictions and conditions reasonable?

We welcome the changes to class 18, 22 & 27 regarding repairs to private roads and ways, namely the removal of PDR for the formation of new access roads and tracks, as such unregulated development could result in significant impacts upon the archaeological heritage. We do feel however that it reasonable to retain permitted development rights for basic repairs within the existing track boundaries, where such works don’t affect the character or fabric of designated assets.

In terms of the proposed changes to class 25 to include buildings for ‘Research and Development’, ALGAO:Scotland broadly supports the principal but only where such works do not impact upon sites of archaeological interest or designated heritage assets. In such circumstances permitted development rights should be withdrawn and early advice sought from the Local Authority Archaeological advisor as per the advice contained in Pan2/2011.

(c) Will the controls strike the right balance between removing unnecessary
planning applications and protecting amenity?

Broadly Yes

(d) Please identify and explain any changes to the controls that you think would strike a better balance?

While the proposed changes will provide better protection to sites of archaeological interest under Classes 25, 26 & 33, we are still concerned about the continuing exemption of agriculture (Class 18) and forestry (class 22) from development controls unless the development is above a certain size (eg Class 18 (2) (d) – over 465 square metres). Agricultural activities along with Class 19, Class 20 Land Drainage works & Class 21 Peat, can be regarded as having as significant an impact upon the landscape as much as traditional development can have as controlled by the Planning system. Therefore we feel that this continuing exemption represents a significant impact upon our Nations archaeological heritage and conflicts with the strategic aims of the Scottish Government as set out in SHEP.

Accordingly we think that this should be redressed and that the following exemptions from Permitted Development should also apply across Classes 18, 19, 20, 21 & 22,

  • a site of archaeological interest
  • a historic garden or designed landscape (HGDL)
  • a battlefield
  • a conservation area
  • a National Park
  • a World Heritage Site

Part 2. Proposed new classes of permitted development.

Q6. With regard to the proposed new classes 7E and 7F;
(a) Is the granting of permission, and the restrictions and conditions, clear?

Yes

(b) Is the granting of permission, and the restrictions and conditions, reasonable?

Yes

(c) Will the controls strike the right balance between removing unnecessary
planning applications and protecting amenity?

Yes

(d) Please identify and explain any changes to the controls that you think would strike a better balance?

No comment

Q7. With regard to the proposed new classes 7A and 7B;
(a) Is the granting of permission, and the restrictions and conditions, clear?

Yes

(b) Is the granting of permission, and the restrictions and conditions, reasonable?

Yes

(c) Will the controls strike the right balance between removing unnecessary
planning applications and protecting amenity?

Yes

(d) Please identify and explain any changes to the controls that you think would
strike a better balance?

No comment

Q8. With regard to the proposed new class 7C;
(a) Is the granting of permission, and the restrictions and conditions, clear?

Yes

(b) Is the granting of permission, and the restrictions and conditions, reasonable?

Yes

(c) Will the controls strike the right balance between removing unnecessary
planning applications and protecting amenity?

Yes

_(d) Please identify and explain any changes to the controls that you think would strike a better balance?__

No Comment

Q9. With regard to the proposed new class 7D;
(a) Is the granting of permission, and the restrictions and conditions, clear?

Yes

(b) Is the granting of permission, and the restrictions and conditions, reasonable?

Although generally supportive of these planned changes ALGAO:Scotland has reservations about relaxation in PDR where it may, or be expected, to impact upon significant Archaeological and Historic Assets. As stated in SHEP, SPP and PAN 2/2011 early consultation with the Local Authority Archaeological Advisors is seen as essential to deliver appropriate advice on mitigation measures to ensure protection of our heritage.

Please contact me if you require any further information.

Yours sincerely

John A Lawson, Chair ALGAO:Scotland

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