What does an archaeological watching brief involve?

Posted by on 10:19 am in News | 0 comments

Do you need an archaeological watching brief to fulfil a planning condition? If you own or live near a site of archaeological interest, you might be asked to employ an archaeological contractor to carry out a watching brief for you.

Whether you’re simply a homeowner or a large-scale developer, you could still end-up with a planning condition which stipulates the need for a watching brief to be carried out on the proposed groundworks. The size of the project makes no difference, it’s purely down to whether your proposed development is located within or near an area of potential archaeological interest.

An archaeological watching brief might be attached as a condition to your planning permission because there is a known record of physical archaeological remains within the proposed site, or perhaps because there is the potential to find items or deposits of archaeological interest due to the nearby presence of archaeological remains. Perhaps your site is in or near a historic town or city, maybe you are located in a rural environment with visible earthworks on or near your land.

If you live in a listed building the local planning authority regularly attach archaeological conditions to the listed building consent, necessitating the monitoring of renovation work and associated groundworks. For example, Oakford Archaeology was commissioned to undertake a watching brief at Heath Cottage, a grade II Listed property in Bridford, Devon, because the owners wanted to renovate the building. This involved an Oakford archaeologist visiting the site and cleaning and recording the earlier floor levels as they were exposed.

Archaeological Watching Brief Cobbles Devon

Essential works being carried out on a scheduled site or site of historic significance might also lead to a watching brief requirement. One example of this was the monitoring of geotechnical boreholes at Rougemont Gardens, Exeter, Devon. An Oakford archaeologist monitored the boreholes and recorded the sequences of deposits.

Archaeological Watching Brief, Rougemont Castle, Exeter, Devon

An archaeological watching brief might require just one visit or it might be several, depending on the scale of the project. If it’s a small project you might want to make sure all of your groundworks happen on the same day to save time and money!

If you have any queries about archaeological watching briefs or have been asked to commission an archaeological contractor for your project, we’re happy to provide a free quote or answer any questions you might have.




What Does an Archaeological Desk Based Assessment Cost?

Posted by on 3:30 pm in News | 0 comments

Have you been asked to commission a desk-based assessment as part of your planning application? Read on to find out what a desk-based assessment is, why it’s sometimes necessary as part of a planning application and how much it is likely to cost.

What is a Desk-Based Assessment?
A desk-based assessment is essentially a short research project exploring the history and archaeological development of a particular piece of land or building. In order to compile the report sources such as historic maps and documents from the local Record Office and material held at the local ‘Historic Environment Record’ would be consulted. A site visit will be carried out and information from other investigations relating to the proposed development such as geotechnical boreholes or geophysical surveys will also be consulted. The desk-based assessment needs to be researched and written by an archaeological or heritage consultant skilled in undertaking this particular type of report.

Desk Based Assessment Map

Why do I need to commission a desk-based assessment?
If you want to get planning permission to renovate or demolish buildings, develop a piece of land for housing, solar farms, cable lines or any other reason, you might be asked by your local planning department to commission a desk-based assessment. It usually forms the initial stage of a programme of archaeological work and is used to assess whether there is likely to be any archaeological remains on or near a planned development. It also helps the planning department decide whether further archaeological work, such as trench evaluations, watching briefs and/or excavations, are needed as part of the grant of planning consent. It also provides information on whether the development will affect the setting or significance of known heritage assets, such as listed buildings or scheduled monuments.

Desk Based Assessment Historic Map

How much will a desk-based assessment cost?
Costs for a desk-based assessment will vary according to the scale of the proposed development, its location (rural or urban), the scope of the research (defined in a brief produced by the relevant planning archaeologist), and the amount of travel which might be required. If the proposed development is a small-scale residential development or listed building conversion the cost of undertaking a desk-based appraisal would be in the range of £250-£500, whereas a desk-based assessment, heritage statement or Heritage Impact Assessment for a housing development or infrastructure project would be in the region of £1,350-£2,500.

Oakford Archaeology has considerable expertise in the compilation of Desk-based Assessments. Please contact us for a free, fixed cost quotation.

Why does a development require an Archaeological Evaluation?

Posted by on 11:21 am in News | 0 comments

Have you been asked to fund an archaeological evaluation as part of your planning application? Read on to understand what this phase of work involves and what it is for.

Welcome to our new website!

Posted by on 5:38 pm in News | 0 comments

Welcome to our new website!

We’re delighted to have launched our new website which gives you lots of information about Oakford Archaeology – who we are, what we do and how we can help you. We’ve also included lots of case studies to give you a flavour of the range and types of projects and sites we have worked on. If we can be of assistance on your heritage project – be it consultancy, excavation, building recording or desk-based assessment, get in touch and we’ll be pleased to offer you a competitive quote.