Archaeological watching briefs | monitoring schemes

Archaeological monitoring

Archaeological monitoring schemes (often known as archaeological watching briefs) involve an archaeologist actively monitoring ground works or building renovations, usually as a result of a Planning Condition, Scheduled Monument Consent of Listed Building Consent.

Archaeological watching briefs/monitoring schemes are usually a requirement where work is undertaken within an area of archaeological or historical interest, and in some cases are the mitigation requirement where pre-commencement evaluation or desk-based assessment has produced low levels of archaeology.

Monitoring requires an archaeologist to attend the development site during the implementation of ground works, then monitor the excavation for archaeological remains or in the case of buildings, monitoring renovation works in the expectation of historic fabric being revealed.

If any remains are encountered, the relevant contact within the planning authority will be informed, and the attending archaeologist will deal with the material in an appropriate manner, under the conditions set out by the Chartered Institute of Archaeologists and any other relevant legislation.

In the case of extensive archaeological remains being uncovered, or remains deemed to be of great interest, ground works may be stopped temporarily and an excavation mitigation scheme put in place (in discussion with the client, Local Authority Archaeological Consultant or Historic England Inspector). 

Read the NPPF

See Section 16 for archaeology and heritage

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