Importance of the Archaeology Factor; PROPERTY BRIEFING
Byline: RICHARD FREEMAN-WALLACE
THE fascinating if slightly macabre find of a 1,700-year-old coffin lid and the decayed remains of a middle-aged person uncovered last week during a Newcastle city centre archaeological dig at Forth Street highlights the lengthy process involved in completing a dig at a city development.
The Forth Street find is a vivid illustration that no one knows what is hidden underground. In this region we are rich in buried archaeological sites.
Developers should seek advice from solicitors and planners if a proposed development is likely to affect any archaeological remains, before making a planning application. This will save considerable time and money later on.
Archaeology has to be given due consideration from the first step. An initial search of the area conducted by your solicitor will show whether there are any areas of archaeological importance within or near to the proposed development.
On the basis of this appraisal, it may be necessary to obtain more detailed information about the impact of a development proposal upon the historic environment. A professionally qualified archaeological contractor approved by the local authority must carry out such work. The work may include a desk-based assessment - a detailed review and analysis of existing information about a site - or a field evaluation, which is a trial excavation to assess the nature of the archaeological remains.
The applicant is responsible for the funding of such work, and there is a presumption in favour of the preservation of archaeological remains in situ. …