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programme of archaeologyArchaeological works required for Planning

1. It has been suggested that my planning application needs to be supported with an assessment of potential archaeology.  How is this different from a Heritage Statement?

An Archaeology Desk Based Assessment forms part of a planning application, to provide greater understanding of the known and potential archaeological resource within and in close proximity to a development site.

These professional reports provide a full Heritage Impact Assessment that identifies the potential risk to a project because of archaeology being present, creating a bespoke set of recommendations. A Heritage Statement establishes the history and significance of a site or historic asset, often with an assessment of its historic setting to ‘understand the surroundings in which it is experienced.’ It is a requirement for Listed Building consents.

You may find it useful to visit our heritage case study pages to see examples of Archaeology Desk Based Assessments that our team has completed.

2. It has been suggested to me that I need a Geophysical Survey as part of Archaeological Works. What is this?

A timely Geophysical Survey can provide a clearer picture of both known and potential archaeology on a site, detailing factors such as the extent, nature and form of various below ground archaeology features. Various forms of geophysical survey can be undertaken, including Magnetometer, Earth Resistance and Ground Penetrating Radar, all of which are non-intrusive.

These works not only provide beneficial design guidance to the client and their development team but allow the projects heritage consultants to get an early appreciation of the potential impact of a development, providing valuable insight into below ground risk. Surveying is quick, effective and inexpensive and, when employed early, can help to limit, better target, or scope out altogether, later costly intrusive archaeological investigation works.

3. My Archaeological Planning Condition mentions the need for Archaeological Investigations. What is the difference between Archaeological Evaluation and Archaeological Excavation?

Archaeological Evaluation (also known as Trial Trenching) provides an on-site assessment to determine the presence or absence of archaeological features, structures, deposits or artefacts within a specified site. The information extracted from such works will include data on the character, extent, quality and state of preservation of any remains identified, along with their anticipated date and significance.

Archaeological evaluations are commissioned as part of the progression of a planning application, which provides invaluable insight to the potential for archaeological risk.

Archaeological Evaluation works are always agreed in advance with the Local Planning Authority, based on a Written Scheme of Investigation, and are undertaken in line with Standard and Guidance for Archaeological Field Evaluation by the Chartered Institute for Archaeology (2014)

An Archaeological Excavation is usually notified as a condition attached to a planning-consent. It is required when the site is known to have some form of potential. This results in a Programme of Archaeology works (controlled, ground intrusive fieldwork with defined research objectives and tightly governed processes in relation to the investigation, recording and interpretation of below ground archaeological remains within a site).