Adrian Corder-Birch, D.L.
President The Essex Society for Archaeology & History
Regeneration & Neighbourhoods
Castle Point Borough Council Council Offices,
Kiln Road, Thundersley, Benfleet, Essex SS7 1TF
Tel: 01268 882200
Fax: 01268 882382
Date: 4th November 2016
Our Reference: SAR/GF Your Reference:
Dear Mr Corder-Birch,
Thank you for your further letter of 29th October 2016 concerning the planning process and historic environment in Castle Point.
I am grateful to you for the clarification concerning the Society's involvement in planning matters and I am pleased that you recognise the work which the Council has done to ensure appropriate and up-to-date planning policies are in place on issues related to the historic environment.
You also raise an enquiry concerning the recognition and assessment of individual planning applications with a potential effect on the historic environment.
The Council maintains a GIS-based mapping system linked to its planning application processing software. The mapping system holds data concerning a wide range of planning constraints, including information regarding historic assets. This information is based on the Historic Environment Record and indeed from other local and in-house sources.
When an enquiry or planning application is received which appears to affect historic assets shown on the mapping system, the Council will then expect that application or enquiry to be accompanied by appropriate evidence from the applicant assessing the impact of the proposal on the significance of the asset, in accordance with the requirements of paragraph 128 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
The Council's role is then to assess this evidence, as described in paragraph 129 of the NPPF. Where the applicant's evidence is not satisfactory, or the appropriate expertise has not been sought, then it is unlikely that the proposal would be found to be consistent with local or national policy.
As I mentioned in my earlier letter, in the event that a particular proposal raises significant heritage issues, bespoke advice would be sought on that case from the County Council, with the applicant being required to underwrite the costs involved.
I hope that this response is helpful, and thank you for your continued interest in the historic environment of the Borough.
Head of Regeneration & Neighbourhoods