Archaeology Desk Based Assessment

An Archaeology Desk Based Assessment from AB Heritage is a key tool in relation to assessing archaeology as part of a planning application.

For all developments, an understanding of ground conditions is essential before beginning construction. This, as a necessity, includes a clear and concise understanding of the presence of archaeological remains.  

An Archaeology Desk Based Assessment  creates a focused understanding of what heritage assets (both known and potential) may exist below the surface. Our reports are fully compliant with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists Standards and Guidance on the production of Historic Environment Desk-Based Assessment (2017).

The work undertaken allows our dedicated team of Heritage Consultants to guide our clients to avoid impact at source, helping them successfully navigate the planning system in a way that balances the needs of development and the Historic Environment. 

What does an Archaeology Desk Based Assessment include?

Location of an Archaeological Desk Based Assessment by AB Heritage

Produced through a collation of information from a wide range of sources, an Archaeology Desk Based Assessment includes examination of historic documents and plans as diverse as photos, maps, insurance records, diaries, articles and government documents from various Record Offices, Archives and Online Sources. We undertake a full and detailed examination of the site of proposed development, to gain a first-hand appreciation of potential past impacts on the site, and to look for clues to the below ground archaeological resource.

Our consultants are fully trained in the use and interrogation of Historic Environment Records; these are the primary statutory source for all information on the known archaeology and heritage of an area, detailing the location, form, date and specific information on the heritage assets present within and in proximity to a site. Our reports are  supported by analysis of documentation often provided by our clients and identified online, ranging from Geotechnical Investigation, Hydrological Testing, Topographic Survey and LiDAR to name only a few. 

All the above however would be pointless without strong and clear consultation with the Local Planning Authority Archaeology and Conservation Officers.  Consultation allows the team at AB Heritage to negotiate a suitable way forward for all in relation to the production of such documents.

An Archaeology Desk Based Assessment creates a plan of the known archaeology resource on and surrounding a site. From this our team can extrapolate and assess the potential for previously unknown archaeology to survive. In many cases we are able to confirm that the likelihood of archaeology remains on site is low, allowing for low-level mitigation to be put in place. However, where there is deemed to be a risk, AB Heritage is superbly placed to provide common-sense plans to avoid or reduce impact on known and potential archaeological remains, by developing targeted and appropriate investigation/mitigation strategies to allow for works to progress.

“Efficient service and kept up to date on progress throughout the project”

Dan Green, Summers-Inman


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