Archaeological Desk-based Assessment | desktop survey, professional accurate service

Archaeological desk-based assessment and desktop survey

Archaeological desk-based assessments – or Archaeological Desktop Surveys as they are sometimes known – are often a staple requirement in a list of planning conditions when it comes to the potential development of areas and buildings of known or suspected historic/archaeological significance. 

However, just to be clear immediately, when an archaeological desk-based assessment is listed in the standard pre-application responses provided by the Local Authority it pays to check directly with the relevant archaeology section within the Local Authority. In many cases they aren’t consulted and the assessment is added as essentially a ‘tick box’. As well as this, in some areas (especially where there is suspected or known archaeology and nearby development has already taken place) there may be a pre-existing assessment already produced (as the assessments should cover a wide area to allow for historical and archaeological context), meaning that even if its on your pre-app check list, it may not actually be required.

Vindomora Solutions Ltd offer a full assessment service, including the usage of licenced Ordnance Survey mapping, LIDAR analysis and Google Earth Pro. We can undertake the historical research, map regressions and produce your report on short notice, with professional results that will satisfy your planning or pre-planning condition needs. Where required by the relevant authority we can also recommend on any further mitigation work required, and liaise with the client to make sure they get the best value for their time and money.

The aim of a desk-based assessment (DBA) can generally be defined as such: to reveal as far as is reasonably possible the nature, extent and probable significance of elements of the historic environment within the study area, using existing records such as historic mapping, trade directories, old photographs and building plans. The DBA acts as a guide for unitary body archaeologists who then decide if further archaeological work is required from the findings of the DBA before planning consent can be given.

We produce desk-based assessments using guidelines and standards produced by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists in conjunction with recent planning legislation and any specific requirements for specific Local Authorities. An Archaeological Impact Assessment is included as standard in one of our DBAs.

Note: Despite the title of the service, a desk-based assessment requires a site visit and also visits to historic document archives local to the site being assessed. As such we do not undertake DBAs outside of the north of England and Scottish Borders, as the client would be better served financially to use a company local to the development.

See Section 16 for archaeology and heritage

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