If you are planning a development, it pays to seek archaeological advice from the Council as early as possible before submitting a planning application. This can save time and money and avoid problems later.
An initial consultation will show whether there are any known, or likely, archaeological remains within or adjacent to a proposed development.
On the basis of this preliminary appraisal, it may be necessary to commission a fuller archaeological assessment or evaluation by a professionally qualified archaeological contractor. The report on this work should accompany the planning application, and include an assessment of the archaeological effects of the development and any measures proposed to reduce it's impact. The Local Planning Authority may defer a planning decision until this information is available.
The first priority is the preservation of significant archaeological remains in situ. To achieve this, the archaeological impact of the development should be minimised by, for example, sympathetic foundation design or amendments to the layout. If this is not feasible, then detailed excavation, recording and publication is the second best option.
Archaeological implications will be a material consideration for the Local Planning Authority when making a planning decision. If further archaeological work is necessary this can be secured, either by the use of a planning condition, or by a legal agreement under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
In other cases, particularly small-scale development, recording of archaeological remains during development may be advised; this is known as a watching brief and will normally be secured by a planning condition.
For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.