World Heritage Site Pre-Application Advice Service
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The pre-application advice service provides the opportunity for engagement with the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site Office directly prior to the submission of formal planning proposals to the Local Planning Authority (LPA). The scope of the pre-application service provided by the CMWHS is limited to technical advice in relation to the impacts upon the Outstanding Universal Value of the WHS.
The Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site
Pre-application Advice Service
1.1 The pre-application advice service offers the opportunity for engagement with the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site Office (CMWHS) prior to the submission of formal planning proposals to the Local Planning Authority (LPA). The scope of the pre-application service provided by the CMWHS is limited to technical advice in relation to the impacts upon the Outstanding Universal Value of the WHS.
It should be noted that the CMWHS pre-application service is a standalone service and is not part of the pre-application services offered by either Cornwall Council or West Devon Borough Council as LPAs.
1.2 Due to limitations in the resources available to the CMWHS to cover all aspects of planning in relation to the WHS it is not possible to provide formal input on all schemes seeking preapplication advice. The CMWHS formal pre-application service is therefore intended for schemes that are deemed to be significant/substantial and normally this will be in relation to schemes that can be regarded as major.
1.3 The formal pre-application advice service is aimed at major/substantial developments as the potential impacts upon the WHS are likely to be greater
1.4 Notwithstanding the above, there will be schemes where the scale of development may be more minor in scale but where the impacts upon the WHS may be significant due to the nature of the development, the sensitivity of nearby WHS attributes or other factors. In those instances, the CMWHS can be contacted for an initial opinion as to whether the WHS feels it appropriate to provide formal pre-application advice on a scheme falling below the thresholds for major development.
1.5 The formalisation of the process ensures that the costs in officer time can be recouped and that a formal and consistent response mechanism is in place for advising on proposals prior to any application being made to the LPA.
1.6 This process provides greater clarity for developers in that it enables the advice of the CMWHS team to be given prior to a formal application in order to avoid issues being identified at the planning application stage when there are greater time constraints and costs involved in identifying issues that are required to be resolved or those that are not capable of being mitigated.
1.7 The process also ensures that there is a consistent approach to applying the policies of the WHS Management Plan and the further guidance contained within the CMWHS Supplementary Planning Document in relation to advising on development proposals to ensure that the HIA assessment, site selection, design, layout and landscaping is in keeping with the policies of the WHS Management Plan.
2.0 What is required?
2.1 At the initial point of contact the CMWHS will require sufficient information to ensure that it can scope the level of work required to provide an informed response and whether this can be desk based or require additional site visits and meetings to clarify certain aspects of a proposed scheme.
2.2 The list below is a guide to the type information that can be provided to the CMWHS;
• A location plan of the site, including an outline denoting its extent
• A statement/ letter confirming the proposed development including a full description of all works (proposed buildings, roads, uses and any associated infrastructure such as a sustainable urban drainage system [SUDS], hard and soft landscaping)
• Any initial elevations, layouts and street scenes
• Any Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) or at least a summary of the identified heritage assets (listed and unlisted) and their settings, that are likely to be affected by the scheme. It should be noted that there is guidance on preparing HIAs in relation to World Heritage Sites, published jointly by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), ICCROM (the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), ICOMOS (the International Council on Monuments and Sites) and IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature) – please see: Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context (2022).
• Any visual analysis work (photographs, LVIA or desk studies in relation to the site and highlighting any intervisibility with other areas within the WHS
• Confirmation of the proposed timeline for submission of an application to Cornwall Council and confirmation as to whether pre-application advice has been sought from the LPA and whether this is subject to a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA).
3.0 What action is to be undertaken by WHS?
3.1 The WHS will review the level of information submitted and acknowledge receipt. If there is insufficient information to begin an initial assessment, then the WHS shall request further information from the enquirer.
3.2 The initial assessment will confirm what level of work will be required to provide a response and what timeframe that response will be likely to be provided in. This will then be confirmed to the developer along with a request to provide full contact details for the purposes of invoicing for the work based upon the relevant fee to be charged (see 5.0 - Fee schedule).
4.0 Concluding the process
4.1 At the end of the assessment the WHS Planning Advice Officer will provide their opinion on the proposal via formal letter (this includes email where appropriate).
4.2 The letter shall itemise what information was submitted and reviewed.
4.3 Conformation of the impacts upon the WHS and any mitigation will be clearly identified within the standard response template and a conclusion of the schemes overall acceptability will be given.
4.4 Given the nature of pre-application advice and that it is based upon information available at the time the pre-application is made the following should be noted;
The advice given in response to a formal pre-application enquiry is provided on the basis of the information submitted and on the basis of existing policy. The advice is officer opinion only and is provided without prejudice to any future consultation response made by the WHS on planning applications for the proposed development or others differing in nature on the site.
5.0 Fee Schedule
A Fixed fee of £500 (+ VAT) equating to 10 hours of work Further work is charged at a rate of £50 p/hour
The total amount of work will be scoped by the Planning Advice Officer and agreed with the enquirer prior to the work being undertaken.
Enquiries relating to the pre-application advice service should be directed to the WHS Planning Advice Officer at: firstname.lastname@example.org