Archaeological investigations
Posted: 20 May 2010 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2010-05-20

We have been asked by the local Archaeological Society (AAAHS) to support them in a dispute that has arisen with the District Council. They wrote a carefully argued letter to the Council asking to be allowed to contribute their local knowledge and expertise to the archaeological survey which is about to take place before building work starts in the area around our Napoleonic Old Gaol. The site is believed to have remains going back at least to Roman times, maybe further. Their request has been met with a flat rejection. Two of AAAHS’  key arguments are:

- the Council were the previous owners of the property and the archaeological costs are being deducted from the sale price so are in effect being borne by the taxpayer so value for money is important

- getting the best value from the survey needs both professional/technical expertise (provided by the archaeological contractor) AND detailed knowledge of the site and its context - “in order to know what archaeological evidence is important to recover, you need to understand what you are looking for and what you already know”.

If we are to add any additional weight to the AAAHS argument it would be helpful if we could quote any precedents elsewhere or anything about current policy/guidelines (AAAHS have referred to Planning Policy Statement 5 (Planning for the Historic Environment) and references in its accompanying guidelines to the possibility of involving community groups.

Can anybody help?

Hester Hand
Friends of Abingdon

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