Planning Advice An archaeological condition attached to a planning consent is specified by your local Planning Authority, who are in turn normally advised by council archaeology services. In order to establish the archaeological potential of a proposed development area the advisers may suggest that a programme of archaeological works is carried out prior to a planning application being submitted. This pre-determination approach may be beneficial to developers, as dependant on results, it can allow planning applications to be altered accordingly.
Evaluation Evaluations normally involve trial trenching of a percentage of the area of the ground proposed for development - usually between 5% to 10% of the total area. These works are required by the respective council planning authorities to locate any unknown archaeology prior to the commencement of works. The results from an evaluation can either lead to: preservation in-situ or further works being required if archaeology is located or for the proposed development works to proceed if no archaeology is found.
Watching Brief Watching briefs comprise the monitoring of the taking down of a bulding or groundbreaking works such as topsoil removal and excavation of foundation trenches/services trenches or other associated works. These works are normally required if there is the potential for archaeology to be located but its exact nature is not known.
Historic Building Recording Historic building recording is usually required prior to the demolition of alteration of an historic structure. The scale of the works required is dependant on the level asked for by the council planning authority but can comprise: a written record of the building, including comments on condition, construction techniques, materials, fixtures & fittings and interpretation of function; measured floor plans; scaled drawings of both internal and external elevations; a photographic record and building history.
Walk-Over Survey The purpose of a walk-over survey is to identify and record any visible archaeological remains which may not have been previously recorded within a development area. Surveys are conducted in a systematic manner in order to establish the character, condition and features of sites located through a desk-based assessment. The survey should also identify any visible features not located by the DBA works.
Excavation Results of earlier works such as an evaluation or DBA could lead to the council planning authority asking for excavation works to be undertaken. An excavation will ensure that a detailed record is complied of what has been found through written description, drawings and photography. If archaeologically significant finds and samples are recovered during excavation works (pottery, bone, charcoal etc) a programme of post-excavation work may also be required by the council planning authority which will include specialist analysis and possible publication.
Desk-Based Assessment The aim of a desk-based assessment is to determine using existing records the known and potential cultural heritage within the proposed area. A DBA is conducted in advance of any proposed field work and will comprise a check of all related archaeological and historical records, maps and aerial photographs. The results will be presented within a report including a gazetteer and possible interpretation