Archaeology and planning case studies: update, extended deadline

** UPDATE 21st August 2018:   The deadline for contributions of planning and archaeology case studies via the survey on the CIfA pages has been extended to 21st September, so please do contribute. If you prefer not to complete the survey, information about individual projects can be sent direct to Jan Wills at the email address below. **

Rescue supports a new project, funded by Historic England and led by CIfA, to gather information about how archaeology is managed in the planning system and to make relevant case studies available online.

The project summary follows – if this seems like something you could contribute to, the survey and guidelines for completing it are on the CIfA web pages at

Over the last 25+ years Planning Policy Guidance 16 and its successor policies and guidance have established an effective framework for the assessment of the impact of proposed development on both designated and undesignated heritage assets with archaeological interest, and the mitigation of that impact through a spectrum of responses including refusal or modification of the development, and programmes of archaeological investigation, recording, publication and archiving. As successive proposed changes to the planning system have come forward over the last few years concerns have grown that these changes to this important framework may undermine the effective management of the resource. Examples include the introduction of Permission in Principle (which could be given without adequate assessment and evaluation, thus ceding the principle of development before the significance of heritage assets present has been determined), the limitation of the use of pre-commencement planning conditions, and currently proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework.

There is a widespread view in the sector and in the development world that, prior to the changes now in train, the planning system has been operating effectively in managing the impact of development on heritage assets, while facilitating development. There is, however, little well documented evidence of its successful operation, or of how the removal of elements of it would reduce the protection of the historic environment. It is this lack of evidence that the project seeks to address.

Archaeology and planning case studies will be compiled from a range of sources to include local authorities, the commercial sector and the voluntary sector. The case studies will be illustrative of how key aspects of the current planning system enable the successful management of heritage assets with archaeological interest, as well as how recent and proposed changes to that system might jeopardise this objective. The casework dossier will be made available to organisations within the sector, and more widely, as a basis for policy formulation and advocacy. A sustainable online resource will be created, incorporating the results of the project but with the potential to accept further cases. A report detailing the methodology, the archaeology and planning cases, and any overall trends and issues will be produced and circulated.

Project contacts

Jan Wills,

Stewart Bryant,

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