National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published in 2012. It replaces earlier guidelines and sets out the Government's planning policies, including those on the conservation of the historic environment for future development.

Desk-based assessment

As the name suggests, this is non-intrusive documentary research carried out at an early stage in the project design or planning process. An assessment which may be required by the local planning authority (LPA) and represents a statement on the heritage significance of the site or building that you propose to develop with the aim of understanding the potential impact of the scheme on the heritage asset so that mitigation strategies can be devised


A local authority may require an archaeological evaluation before planning permission for your project can be granted. The principal aim of an evaluation is to establish whether or not there are any archaeological deposits in the proposed development area; and identify the character, extent, date and state of preservation of anything found. Typically this involves the machine excavation of slit trenches covering from as little as 2% of the site in rural locations where nothing has been previously recorded or up to 25% in urban sites where archaeological deposits are already known to exist. We carry out a variety of evaluations in both rural and urban settings from small hand dug test holes to an array of trenches associated with housing developments etc.


Where significant archaeological remains have been identified by evaluation there may be a requirement to undertake mitigation by excavation. We will aim to help you minimise or remove any requirements for archaeological works in order reduce the risk. Whether you are an individual or a large company local builder or an international corporation, we will provide you with the same professional level of commitment:

Watching briefs

Whether you are a private individual building a house extension or a large company constructing a road scheme, your project needs to satisfy the archaeological conditions set by local planning authorities and our job is to enable you to satisfy those conditions and fulfil your responsibilities as a developer. Watching briefs are usually requested by local authorities when previous investigations (such as desk-based assessments or evaluations) have revealed only low levels of archaeological significance. In these cases they are usually the most cost effective way to minimise the potential archaeological risk of a development project.

Building surveying and recording

Progress is necessary for buildings to continue a useful function, seen as heritage assets they are a limited resource where reordering means a loss of information regarding technological advances, fashion and social changes. A record and interpretation by an experienced team can retrieve this information for future generations. Most historic buildings are the product of a series of additions and subtractions and it is this process that provides archaeologists with physical evidence of the buildings story.


We also specialise in surveying and illustration from site surveys to full colour reconstructions.

Specialist services

We have access to numerous external specialist consultants in finds analysis, human remains, palaeo-environmental sampling and dendro-dating.

renovation work
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