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Is it an Arched trench or a very smelly wet church. Blame the Aussies
Ah - the "grassy knoll" theory of EH collusion rears its ugly head! (But we all know it was the Comedian what done it...) EH doesn't control the Planning system. It may recommend a low-impact solution, but there are Inspectors, Planning Archaeologists, and others who get to decide if the proposed installation is acceptable and correctly mitigated. The EH institutional fear of putting names on guidance is probably partly to shield folk from lobbying/abuse, but more importantly to prevent knowledge of the identity of the true authors from diminishing the unearned reflected glory the higher-ups derive from saying "MY organisation published guidelines on XXX"! And having looked under the bonnet, I'd be amazed if EH were organised enough to collude in a scam by deliberate action rather than bumbling incompetence...

As for the Church pulling a scam, I couldn't possibly comment.

But I fail to see how this impacts your mitigation or makes you a "mug". If they have an approved scheme (digging a hole) and you agree to investigate/sterilise the archaeology in that hole, then why is it such a problem if afterwards they fill the hole with a turd-drain? You could point out that there will be further impact from the water, but there are proper channels for that sort of complaint. And indeed you could use the results of your mitigation (eg a map of all the grave cuts seen in the base of the trench) to act as a basis for an objection. Of course, it would have helped avoid the whole issue if they had some proper eval work done first, to determine if the area was sterile or not...

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