HC Deb 07 March 1988 vol 129 cc78-9W
Mrs. Ray Michie

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the policy that the polluter should pay for the cost of removing pollution applies to anyone developing an archaeological site; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Moynihan

Whilst I think the analogy with the "polluter pays" principle is false in this context, both the Department and English Heritage encourage developers to contribute towards the cost of archaeological investigation in advance of development. A code of practice prepared nearly two years ago by the British Archaeologists and Developers Liaison Group has been a valuable stimulus to this successful voluntary approach. In addition, the Government contribute some £6 million a year in grants towards rescue archaeology projects through their heritage agency, the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Local planning authorities can impose conditions on planning permissions affecting land considered to be of archaeological interest to ensure that access is given to archaeologists, and a similar requirement is often a condition of consent to development affecting scheduled monuments.