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Interesting Thursday am problem
Hi guys

I think we are back to something I raised earlier - how do we deal with archive deposition for those projects where the gap between fieldwork and publication / archive deposition is measured in years rather than weeks.

As someone has already commented, one good policy is not to recommend discharge of the condition until the archive is deposited, or there is clear written agreement to deposit following suitable analysis and publication.

My point would be this - if there is a written agreement to deposit, and discharge has been achieved on that basis - what comeback can there by the planning authority if the developer / landowner reneges on the agreement and property has already been disposed of (sold) on the basis that all conditions were adequately discharged.

An additional complication arises where the applicant / developer is not the landowner. The developer may well have agreed to deposit the artefacts, but as they do not have legal title in the first place then the writtten agreement is worthless.

A further complication may arise where the curator has no archive depository to recommend, usually trusting upon the excavator to hold onto the finds/paper archive ad infinitum. I can think of at least 2 English counties and 1 metropolitan area/unitary authority where this is the case.

Surely most planning conditions are written off following the production of an interim statement on the archaeology of a given site. This is many cases is not much more than a version of the old school staple essay 'What I did during my last summer holiday'.

Which is not the same as a full publication or even the commencement of any form of analysis/synthesis of the results of the archaeological work. Surely there would be as huge a backlog of unfulfilled planning conditions as there are unpublished archaeological sites if this wasn't the case.


Re. your first point -this issue (and a few other relevant ones) was covered to some extent in an article in the Autumn 2005 edition (No. 5:face-thinks: of The Archaeologist - the IFA glossy mag.


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