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Archaeological Dig

Archaeological evaluation

Pre- or post-planning application determination

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As well as desk-based research, additional archaeological evaluation surveys may also be necessary at this stage to assess the significance of the heritage assets likely to be affected by the development, particularly where buried archaeological remains may survive.

These surveys are often required pre-determination so the LPA can make an informed decision, in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework.  The planning archaeologist will usually issue a brief or specification for the required work, which will allow the archaeological advisor to prepare and price a Written Scheme of Investigation (WSI).


The WSI will need to be approved by the planning archaeologist before the work is carried out in order to ensure the work will meet the LPA’s requirements. It is also worth considering if a community engagement programme would be beneficial and help raise the profile of the site.

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Geophysical survey and trial trenching are the most common forms of survey for buried archaeological remains. Standing buildings may require a specialist built heritage appraisal or assessment at this stage.


The aim of the surveys is to confirm the significance of surviving archaeological remains or standing buildings and their settings, and the need for and scope of works required to mitigate the effects of development. The archaeological advisor will negotiate and agree the appropriate mitigation works with the LPA planning archaeologist.


The results of the surveys and the scope of the agreed mitigation works will be incorporated into the environmental statement or design and access statement if the archaeological evaluation surveys have been undertaken pre-determination.

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