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Thread: Archaeology

  1. #1
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    Default Archaeology

    Hello all,
    I'm after a bit of advice please. There must be an expert out there somewhere!
    I am currently trying to get planning permission for a ménage. 6 months in to the lengthy process the council have asked me for a full archaeological survey with large trenches to be dug. Has anyone had to deal with this before? Were the costs and mess as bad as I'm expecting? Can I do anything to avoid it? Thanks x

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Archaeology

    Are you in an area of particular archaeological interest then?

    I'm surprised they want trenches, most of them start with geophys and won't proceed further unless necessary. You need to speak to a company that is used to doing these surveys locally - some planning authorities are getting quite demanding about them.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Archaeology

    Quote Originally Posted by Sallyfinn View Post
    Hello all,
    I'm after a bit of advice please. There must be an expert out there somewhere!
    I am currently trying to get planning permission for a ménage. 6 months in to the lengthy process the council have asked me for a full archaeological survey with large trenches to be dug. Has anyone had to deal with this before? Were the costs and mess as bad as I'm expecting? Can I do anything to avoid it? Thanks x
    Odd that they've asked for a full survey with trenches from the get go. Usually the first step is to do a desk study report, which should inform the need for further (intrusive) investigation. Unless you are actually developing on a scheduled monument, or are severely altering the setting of a scheduled monument, I shouldn't think a menage would warrant such an approach.

    Contact a local archaeological company and ask advice. Ask their experts to talk to the Planners. Then commission a Phase 1 desk study, at the most, and take it from there.

    Good luck, and let us know how you get on.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Archaeology

    Obviously not knowing exactly where you are, but Colchester is renowned for its Roman remains... The full archaeological survey will have been requested as presumably you are in an area either of archaeological importance, or an area where there is no known archaeology but potential for archaeological remains. The condition will have been set by the County Archaeologist, who will have a valid reason for wanting the work to be done so will definitely be worth just having a chat to them or to someone from their Historic Environment Team. I am afraid it will be a planning condition that you cannot avoid. The archaeological survey will presumably comprise of a desktop assessment and trial trenches, although unless your ménage is huge, there will be little scope for too many trenches - trial trenches are a quick method of investing a sample of a site – and between 2% and 5% of the site area is usually sampled and trenches are generally about 25m long/1.80 wide, but its possible you are being asked to strip an single area? They will simply remove the topsoil to the natural geology, plan and part excavate features to enable dating of the site. The trenches are usually back-filled as soon as they have been recorded, so your site, unless its stuffed with archaeology - should be looking at being on site for about a week to include a report. The cost will depend upon the unit you use, contact http://www.essex.gov.uk/Activities/H...st-Advice.aspx and get a list of contractors they approve, Colchester Archaeological Trust and Archaeology South East spring to mind and both do commercial excavations. There should be no mess - they will leave the site as they found it, topsoil will be returned to the trenches and the trenches leveled and unless you are unlucky with the weather, trenching should be kept tidy. Assuming you find archaeology, the contractor will report to you and the County Archaeologist - in my experience, the majority of this type of site can be dealt with fairly quickly with minimal costs to the owner. Don't be daunted by it, who knows, you might have something really exciting! Remember, that the artefacts recovered will belong to you and you will be asked if you want to retain the finds or whether you would like to sign them over to a museum for curating, unless any gold, silver or a hoard of roman coins is found, that will become crown property so you wont be able to keep them unfortunately!
    Last edited by mustardsmum; 16-05-18 at 12:03 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Archaeology

    Quote Originally Posted by HeyMich View Post
    Odd that they've asked for a full survey with trenches from the get go. Usually the first step is to do a desk study report, which should inform the need for further (intrusive) investigation. Unless you are actually developing on a scheduled monument, or are severely altering the setting of a scheduled monument, I shouldn't think a menage would warrant such an approach.

    Contact a local archaeological company and ask advice. Ask their experts to talk to the Planners. Then commission a Phase 1 desk study, at the most, and take it from there.

    Good luck, and let us know how you get on.
    Its possible that a desktop has been done previously or that it is in a known area of high archaeological potential (different to a scheduled site). Any development can result in archaeological works as part of the planning process, the site does not have to be scheduled or nor within the setting of a scheduled monument to warrant an archaeological condition. If it were a scheduled monument, development would require scheduled monument consent from Historic England and the work that has been requested by the OP does not not suggest this. Setting relates to how the setting of the monument will be affect by the development. In this case, the construction of the menage will affect the underlying archaeology by groundwork which is why an archaeological condition will have been applied.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Archaeology

    Wow!
    Thank you everyone. I feel completely blindsided and terrified of the financial costs.
    Apparently the site has to have the archaeological survey as there are crop markings visible from aerial photos. Probably just from lunging the bloody pony!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Archaeology

    Get University College London to send a few student to do it as a short summer project, minimum costs and you'll be doing them a favour - they need to do some fieldwork to get their degree

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Archaeology

    Have just emailed UCL for a quote! Need this done pronto though as planning application has been delayed since December already

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Archaeology

    This is actually really exciting...there might be treasure trove! Even if there isn't and there are other findings your land/farm will be credited in the museum exhibits forever!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Archaeology

    Archaeology South East is part of UCL, but they are the commercial wing of the archaeology department and will run as a commercial unit so will charge the same as other units. They will be using qualified archaeologists. Take a look here: https://www.archaeologists.net/sites...de-low-res.pdf - this is the Charted Institute for Archaeologists, and are the guidelines which will help you understand the process and how to employ an archaeologist. Their website will also list all the registered organisations. Hope this helps - let me know how it goes!

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