Archaeology and Planning Case Studies Project (England)

This month CIfA has launched a project which will collect case studies from the planning system and make them available on-line to support advocacy. We will be creating this resource to show how archaeology is managed, enabled, or restricted by current and future policy provisions. Collected cases will help CIfA, and others in the sector, advocate for the protection or enhancement of archaeological provision within the planning system. A survey has been launched to collect case studies, and CIfA members are requested to consider whether they have knowledge or experience of any cases which reveal particular aspects of the current system or provide evidence that could inform future change.

The vast majority of archaeological investigations in England are carried out in response to proposed development and to the requirements of the planning system for assessment, evaluation, and investigation. PPG16, its successors, and the current National Planning Policy Framework have required the significance of heritage assets to be assessed prior to decisions on development, and the impact of development to be mitigated by programmes of archaeological investigation.

However, the planning system is changing. Recent changes include the introduction of Permission in Principle, restrictions on the use of planning conditions, changes to the NPPF and the extension of permitted development rights, and these may weaken our ability to manage the impact of development on archaeology.

In order to continue to persuade government of the importance of the heritage provisions in the NPPF, and of the potentially problematical impact of proposed changes, we need good case studies of how the current system works well – and of its problems.

This project will collect case studies from local authorities, the commercial and voluntary sectors and make them available on line to support advocacy. The project is funded by Historic England and will be carried out by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA). CBA, ALGAO and FAME are project partners.

If you work or have experience in this area, you may be able to provide information on

  • an archaeological evaluation which has identified new sites, making a significant contribution to knowledge of a particular period, especially where little was known from that location previously (scenario 1 in the survey)

  • a problematical site where there has been no evaluation and important archaeology has been discovered late in the development project (scenarios 5 and 6)

  • the use of planning conditions eg you may have to deal with cases where there has been no adequate provision for post-excavation and publication because a planning condition has been discharged prematurely (scenario 10)

  • a development which commenced before the completion of archaeological mitigation fieldwork. For example, health and safety issues and/or significant additional resources required for agreeing and implementing complex method statements (scenario 9)

If you think you may be able to assist in providing case study examples to inform this project, please download this survey guidance note.

For more information about the project, please click here.

What you can do

Take a look at the online survey and the attached guidance and consider whether you can supply one or more case studies that meet any one of the 13 planning scenarios listed. If you can, please complete the short survey. The survey deadline is Friday 21 September.

We desperately need good case studies to demonstrate the success of the current system and also what is likely to happen if protection is weakened. If you can only provide one example, it will still be very welcome so please participate in the survey

If you have any queries or want clarification please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Jan Wills, janwills [at], 07808 089804
Stewart Bryant, stewartrbryant [at], 07936 163154

Please read the guidance note on how to complete the survey first then click here for the survey.