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Heritage assets (buried archaeology, earthworks, standing structures) are a major consideration in planning. Current planning guidance (National Planning Policy Framework, section 12, para 128) states that
In determining applications, local planning authorities should require an applicant to describe the significance of any heritage assets affected, including any contribution made by their setting. The level of detail should be proportionate to the assets’ importance and no more than is sufficient to understand the potential impact of the proposal on their significance…..Where a site on which development is proposed includes or has the potential to include heritage assets with archaeological interest, LPAs should require developers to submit an appropriate desk-based assessment and, where necessary, a field evaluation.
This work may be required before an application can be considered, so sufficient time and resources should be allowed for its completion, prior to submitting the application.
In the event that archaeological work is required as a planning condition, the developer must submit to the LPA a ‘written scheme of investigation’ prepared by their appointed archaeological contractor, setting out how they will carry out the work required. This must be approved by the LPA before any work can start on site. On completion of the work, the contractor will prepare a report on the results. The archaeological planning condition can be finally signed off only when the report has been accepted by the LPA.
Again, sufficient time and resources should be allowed in the development programme for completing the on-site works and report.