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Bad day at the office?!
#11
more to the point - who is steve wood?
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#12
the chap in the article (Steve Wood?) has everything to gain from the evaluation, as, if it locates something significant it may well prevent the proposal from getting planning permission.
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#13
Marcus Brody Wrote:Also, can anyone tell me where I can commission one of those geophysical surveys that can identify the specific pottery types present on a site?

Our instruments (Bartiscanster Archaeology Detectors) have a special turny knob on the top, which we can set to detect pottery, flint, bone (human and/or animal) or treasure. There's also a little dial with a needle that swings round to give a date, and a digital display for depth. Usually though we use "rapid" setting, so a light comes on and a buzzer sounds when 'archaeology' is detected, and a peg can be out in the ground where eval trenches are required. Hot coffee comes out of a special nozzle on the side, and there is a selector switch for black/white, sugar/no sugar. latte, mocha or cappuccino. Unfortunately there is as yet no mechanism for chocolate sprinkles.
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#14
In a way Uo1 does have a point, although it gets us into a catch 22 situation. Should evaluation trenching be allowed to go ahead prior to granting of planning permission?

Trenching can, after all, be quite destructive to a landscape and trenches are often backfilled in a rush. If development was canned after the eval a nice greenfield site could be left buggered. Perhaps we need to apply for planning consent to dig eval trenches....
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#15
differentcolourmud Wrote:In a way Uo1 does have a point, although it gets us into a catch 22 situation. Should evaluation trenching be allowed to go ahead prior to granting of planning permission?

Trenching can, after all, be quite destructive to a landscape and trenches are often backfilled in a rush. If development was canned after the eval a nice greenfield site could be left buggered. Perhaps we need to apply for planning consent to dig eval trenches....

crazy talk!!
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#16
Much as I really don't want to become entangled in another tedious Unitof1-dominated thread about why every other archaeologist in the country is wrong, I was under the impression from most of his previous posts that he was very much in favour of pre-determination evaluation - I'm sure I remember posts to the effect that every planning application should be accompanied by the results of evaluation, undertaken by an archaeologist in the pay of the developer. I'm also sure I remember Unit saying that if this were done, there'd be no need for Councils to employ their own archaeologists, as obviously they could take on trust reports supplied by the company paid for by the developer, without needing to check them themselves. I realise that arguing with Unit is like trying to herd cats, but I sometimes wonder exactly what it would take to make him happy.

The point of undertaking evaluation prior to determination is to allow the Council to retain the option of refusing planning consent, should trenching indicate the survival of significant archaeology on the site. This is why developers don't like doing it, as it means they have to spend money on trenching before they have consent, and indeed, run the risk that the results of this trenching may actually prevent consent being granted. Most would rather push for the work to be done under a condition, as that gives them a greater degree of certainty that the development will go ahead and allows them to borrow money against the increased value of land with planning consent, in the knowledge that once consent has been granted, it's very unlikely to be revoked as a result of post-determination evaluation (and that if it was, compensation would be payable).

Now I'm off to order one of those Bartiscanster Archaeology Detectors.
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
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#17
Technically if a trench can be classed as major engineering it does need planning permissionWink
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#18
Have used that as a stick sometimes Smile (way back in my past) IT can be classed as building works, and associated nfrastructure. but not so much for an eval trench.
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#19
Wax Wrote:Technically if a trench can be classed as major engineering it does need planning permissionWink

That's absolutely true, but it's pretty uncommon. Indeed, I've only heard of it happening twice, and on both occasions, it was because the planner decided that a high-percentage evaluation represented a meaningful start of development, and that they'd therefore require the developer to obtain a specific planning consent for it. In the majority cases I've been involved with, the planner has taken a different approach, and considered archaeological trenching to be equivalent to other site investigation works, and therefore something that could take place without the need for an individual consent. I don't really know whether this is right or not, as I'm not a planner.
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
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#20
I've worked on any number of jobs where trial trenching was frankly unneccessary (the site's going to be developed anyway and it's clear in advance that a substantial archaeological response will be required), and in the event proved to be actually counter-productive, fragmenting the archaeology etc. I've seen any number of eval specs which have specifically stated that feature intersections should be specifically targeted...No! No! No! There's a job in my backlog where a certain Very Large Unit (RAO, shock, horror) did the trial trenching, overmachined all the trenches due to a lack of even remotely local knowledge and destroyed a number of critical intersections which meant that when I came to write up the subsequent area excavation I was unable to phase several critical parts of the site short of making educated guesses based on the geophysics - thanks! And the site-with-the-footprints would have been less of a surprise if another unit (funny, another RAO) back in the 90s had been able to tell the difference between natural and 3ft-plus of stratified RB vicus..... Low feature-visibility in some subsoils (especially gravel on gravel) means that you're going to miss or miss-interpret half the features in a small trench anyway, I've been doing a job this year where you could only see half the features from 20m away in exactly the right light and after just the right amount of rain, so trial trenching would have been completely misleading anyway. Their main value is on deep-strat sites, where they represent sacrificing a percentage of the resource in order to plan digging the rest in a coherent manner (and more critically costing the thing!)
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