We provide advice to local planning authorities on local development documents explaining how the historic environment should be conserved and enhanced. This is part of our ‘duty to co-operate’ especially where there is likely to be a significant impact upon the historic environment.
We welcome early and ongoing discussion with local planning authorities and, where relevant, neighbourhood forums, in the preparation of local plans and neighbourhood plans.
We offer proportionate responses to consultations on Strategic Environmental Assessments and Sustainability Appraisals to ensure a high level of protection and to maximise potential benefits for the historic environment. We must be consulted at each of the following stages:
- Decision to adopt
Our advice on Environmental Impact Assessments, where necessary, helps to ensure that any potential significant effects on the historic environment have been accurately assessed and addressed.
Although we must be notified of any intention to submit an environmental statement for certain proposals, we expect local planning authorities to exercise their judgement and to consult us wherever they consider that we are likely to have an interest.
Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects
We are a statutory consultee on all Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP). These are large scale projects such as power stations, railways, harbours and larger wind farms.
If a NSIP is being considered, we welcome early engagement. Before submitting an application, the developer is required to obtain necessary heritage information and to carry out extensive consultation on their proposals, including with us. We consider the impact of these proposals on the historic environment and advise accordingly alongside other sources of advice. The developer is expected to consider their proposals as appropriate in light of these consultations. Once an application for consent has been made, the Planning Inspectorate asks statutory consultees for their views and examines the application before making a recommendation to the relevant Secretary of State, who makes the decision.