The Institute for Archaeologists has been calling for Scottish Government to revise Planning Advice Note 42 for some time. IfA was pleased to be able to work with Scottish Government planners and others in the sector on a new PAN during 2011, and welcomes the publication of PAN 2/2011 Planning and Archaeology. It provides a clear message to planning applicants and authorities about the importance of archaeology and how the archaeological investigation of the historic environment is handled through the planning process. The PAN states that ‘it is essential that every planning authority has access to a SMR/HER’, both as a tool for plan-making and determining applications. It makes clear that responses by planning authorities should be proportionate to the importance of any remains that may be present.
There is greater emphasis than in the previous PAN on imaginative publication and display of archaeological findings. Another welcome development is the stipulation that archaeological work required through the planning process should conform to the relevant IfA Standards and guidance. It is emphasised that work should be done by ‘a professionally competent organisation or consultant’, and IfA is identified as having a Register of professionally accredited organisations. This is a clear steer to planning authorities to direct applicants to IfA Registered Organisations, and IfA will be approaching ALGAO Scotland to discuss the implications.