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09Sep

Count on us now for Best Heritage Management

The construction industry, along with the economy as a whole, is subject to various issues associated with the vote to leave the EU, with limited scope for most to influence events at the national level. There is simply no agreed consensus on the best way to break the impasse to allow companies to confidently move forward.

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However, in relation to construction, when we face hard-pressed times, reducing known risks and working to add value to projects must be prioritised. It’s a good place to start because it is a well-tested strategy, relatively straightforward and can pay significant dividends (if done early).

Careful risk assessment and forward planning is something the most successful construction companies pride themselves on. However, on occasion heritage or archaeology is not fully considered in the early stages of a development; sometimes because of lack of appreciation of the risks faced, and sometimes simply because it is buried and out of sight / out of mind. Heritage work that is unplanned can create unwanted ‘knock-on’ effects in increased costs and delays in schedules.

As a professional heritage consultancy, AB Heritage Ltd works with developers to help manage Historic Environment project risk from the outset. We know the commercial pressures facing developers and always work to reduce heritage risk, offering proportionate, common-sense solutions to respond to planning constraints and works on site. 

We hope this list of simple heritage dos and don’ts may help when considering how to manage Historic Environment project risk at the feasibility stage:

  1. Don’t assume there is no archaeology on site - just because you can’t see it, or you are working on a brownfield site or what seems to have been a greenfield forever;
  2. Do undertake an Initial Site Heritage Appraisal on land being considered for purchase, as part of your risk register and early budget planning. A relatively small cost up front can save what could be a significant cost later, and could also can help with sale price negotiations;
  3. Do engage with a heritage expert before preparing scheme designs, it is one of the easiest ways to help avoid or reduce costly redesigns if needed due to heritage issues;
  4. Do engage with a reputable, accredited commercial heritage consultancy like AB Heritage, who is registered with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists;
  5. Do ask your heritage consultant to help you gain pre-planning advice with the Planning Archaeologist and/or Conservation Officer;
  6. Don’t leave commissioning of heritage assessments until later in the scheme. Reports can be prepared early and, where designs do change or external factors require it, simply updated.
  7. While not all archaeology is significant, do recognise that where heritage on site is important then careful and respectful management can reap rewards in terms of positive PR to help sell in your benefit messages, and create some positive interactions with your local community.

Finally, post Brexit, the Government remains committed to ensuring proper protection for heritage. Current planning guidelines and legislation remain unchanged. Make sure you are not left behind and get your heritage requirements in order early.

AB Heritage Ltd operates nationwide to provide professional Initial Site Heritage Appraisals, Archaeological Desk Based Assessments, Heritage Statements, Historic Building Recordings and the design and management of archaeological surveys and services.

You can bank on us for high quality consultancy and services that address heritage issues at the right time, keeping your project pipeline moving forward. Please visit our website for further details, call 03333 440 206 or email info@abheritage.co.uk

Posted at 11:26

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