HOUSE OF COMMONS
LONDON SW1A OAA
Mr Adrian Corder-Birch President — The Essex Society for Archaeology & History
Our Ref: ZA6835
11 August 2016
Dear Mr Corder-Birch,
Re: Archaeological Surveys (Planning Conditions)
Thank you for contacting me about the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill and archaeological surveys as part of planning conditions.
I agree that we ought to protect our historic sites from excessive and damaging development. Pre-commencement planning conditions provide an important bulwark against overzealous developers. This is particularly important in places like Colchester which has such a rich history that there are likely many undiscovered treasures.
However, I am concerned however that many councils are attaching conditions to planning permission with little regard to the reasonableness of the conditions. This is adding additional costs and delays. Developers are less likely to build out planning permissions if conditions are used at every opportunity to delay construction. Residents also suffer from uncertainty and frustration particularly if they have contributed to the local plan.
The measures in the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill will ensure that planning conditions are only imposed where absolutely necessary and councils will still be able to request archaeological and wildlife surveys. This will help tackle housing shortages by reducing delays in the delivery of new homes.
In most cases the applicant and local planning authority will reach agreement on what pre-commencement conditions should be imposed. In the unlikely event that an applicant refuses to accept a necessary pre-commencement condition, the local planning authority can refuse planning permission.
It is important to note that the final decision on an application remains with the local planning authority.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Will Quince - Member of Parliament for Colchester
Constituency Office: 37 Layer Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 7JW Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 0207 219 8049 / 01206 545990
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