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Planning Policy Statement - Consultation paper on a new Planning Policy Statement 4: Planning for Prosperous Economies (DCLG 2009)

Submission from ALGAO:England

Consultation paper on a new Planning Policy Statement 4: Planning for Prosperous Economies

The Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers for England (ALGAO:England) is the national body representing local government archaeology services at County, District, Metropolitan, Unitary and National Park level in England. ALGAO:England co-ordinates the views of its member authorities (93 in total) and presents them to government and to other national organisations. It also acts as an advisor to the Local Government Association (LGA) on archaeological matters. The range of interests of our members embraces all aspects of the historic environment including archaeology, buildings and the historic landscape.

We recognise the Government's aims to deliver economically sustainable development, both in town and country, and welcome this opportunity to demonstrate the contribution that the historic environment can make to these objectives. Indeed, we are greatly encouraged to see that, in the context of planning town centres, the Government wants `the historic, archaeological, architectural heritage of centres to be conserved and, where appropriate, enhanced to provide a sense of place and a focus for the community and for civic activity'. Our members look forward to supporting local authorities, and planning applicants, to inform their understanding of, and thus decision-making on, the contribution that the historic environment can make to sustainable development in, or on the edge of, historic town centres.

Equally, rural settlement has a deep historic character, and we welcome the stress on re-using rural buildings (policy EC4.1.8), and especially historic buildings, to preserve that character and contribute to making the sustainable communities of the future. In the rural context too, archaeological heritage may also need to be taken into account in planning decision-making.

In answer to your question 1. Do you support the consolidation and streamlining of national planning policy on economic development into a single policy statement? What do you think are the costs and benefits of the approach? We do support the consolidation of these policies, but feel that greater recognition of, or cross-reference to, other pertinent Planning Policy Statements would set decision-making on economic imperatives into the context of broader considerations, that ultimately affect the economic planning considerations of applicants. These should of course be captured in Local Development Frameworks in addition to the policies advocated in this PPS, and enable fully-rounded site selection and assessment of viability.

Convenor, ALGAO Planning & Legislation Committee

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