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English Heritage not in tune with NPPF, says MPA

English Heritage

Association responds to English Heritage consultation on Historic Environment Good Practice Advice in Planning

ENGLISH Heritage has recently consulted on ‘Historic Environment Good Practice Advice in Planning’. However, the Mineral Products Association (MPA) believes that the proposed content of their Good Practice Advice (GPA) is not in tune with the presumption in favour of sustainable development formalized by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Ken Hobden, the MPA’s mineral planning director, said: ‘It seems that English Heritage expects the planning system to protect heritage assets above all other interests and that is not how the planning system is supposed to be operating.


‘Sustainable development is about weighing up the positive and the adverse effects (there will always be some impacts from any form of development) and making sure that overall the development delivers a net benefit to society.

‘Minerals do not just make an important contribution to the economy, the National Planning Policy Framework states that minerals are essential and that there is a need for a steady and adequate supply.’

The MPA joined forces with English Heritage, professional bodies and planning officers to form the Minerals and Historic Environment Forum (MHEF) which produced ‘Mineral Extraction and Archaeology: A Practice Guide’ in 2008. However, that Practice Guide is given only one brief mention in the draft GPA, despite many of the principles which it established being applicable not just to minerals, but to all forms of development.

The MPA says that, in complete contrast to the MHEF, the group that drafted the GPA was comprised almost entirely of heritage professionals, and that unless English Heritage involves a broader range of interested parties in the production of the GPA, with a view to winning their joint endorsement to the final document, it seems unlikely that the planning system will afford much weight to what it says. That, says the MPA, is also likely to result in a document that reflects a better balance of interests, more in accord with the delivery of sustainable development.


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