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Downing Street, Farnham

The site, within an Area of High Archaeological Potential, required an Archaeology Desk Based Assessment for Planning.

AB Heritage was commissioned to produce the Archaeology Desk-Based Assessment to accompany a planning application concerning a plot of land to the rear of Grade II Listed 37 & 38 Downing St, Farnham, for a new residential dwelling.

The site is in the middle of the historic core of Farnham, and within and Area of High Archaeological Potential. Based on historic context of the site, AB Heritage devised a Study Area that enabled a solid understanding of the likely archaeological resource that could potentially affect the proposed development. This early scoping was undertaken alongside consultation with the Local Planning Archaeologist.

The Archaeology Desk-Based Assessment included an examination of the Historic Environment Records (HER) as well as appraisal of previous archaeological works in the town, coupled with a site walkover, which identified that a 12th century defensive town ditch was potentially located very close or within the application site. Evidence for the presence of a building on the application site dating to at least the mid-19th century and demolished in the mid-20th century was also important to understanding potential constraints to the proposed development.

In line with Local and National Planning Policy, applicants are required to provide sufficient information on the significance of heritage assets, to allow for informed planning decisions. By identifying the known and potential archaeological resource both within and surrounding the proposal site, AB Heritage  recommended that the client carry out evaluation works to confirm whether the 12th century town ditch was present within the development site, and to see if archaeological remains were adversely impacted by the 19th century development and subsequent demolition.

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