A mostly rural county, 42.3% of the population of Gloucestershire live in countryside areas. With planning projects proposed across the county, however, it appears that patches of undeveloped land are set to deplete. For example, the local council are currently initiating developments for new residential properties in many of the remaining greenfield areas, and even on the South Gloucestershire Green Belt that takes up 23,000 hectares of land.
Anyone intending on staging a planning project on undeveloped land in Gloucestershire will face a number of problems along the way, including potential restrictions from the local council and community groups limiting projects on valuable greenfield land. Untouched land also poses issues from historic remains that could be partially or completely hidden beneath the surface of the ground. By ignoring this possibility, developers could face costly penalties, lengthy delays or a complete breakdown of their project.
Archaeological Planning Restrictions
In a dedicated section, the Gloucestershire County Council website details how it provides archaeological planning advice to all areas within the county and corresponding boroughs and districts. Considerations include offering guidance to developers for archaeological implications within development projects and assisting local planning authorities with producing and enforcing planning policies that relate to archaeology.
Remaining conscious of issues on a development site caused by historic remains is an important factor for any developer staging a project on greenfield land. A guaranteed way of doing this with the correct insight and expertise is through reaching out to an archaeologist for an archaeology survey on the site.
Surveys and Reports for Archaeology
Starting with desk-based assessments, an archaeologist will begin an archaeology survey by researching the development site for evidence of historic features on the site and existing archaeological records that could indicate historic importance. A physical inspection of the site will be needed, carrying out a surface survey involving a thorough analysis to determine whether any visible or partially hidden historic remains are present.
After the surface survey, the archaeological consultant will use a ground penetrating radar (GPR) to discover historic remains within the ground as part of a geophysical survey. To do this, a GPR device will be run along the ground, radio waves will be sent below and they will reflect backwards once they have bounced off a solid surface. Whenever the distances are shorter, it could be a sign that archaeological remains are in the ground, calling for excavation if the reason for the reading hasn’t been explained in the desk-based assessment.
Under certain circumstances, an archaeological surveyor may opt to factor in consideration of the National Grid, contours, earthworks and existing building survey results, or incorporate aerial photography, site discovery and evaluation, walkovers and watching briefs as additional techniques. An archaeology report will be created after the assessment as evidence of results from the survey and suggested steps forward from the archaeologist. The archaeological report can then be handed to the local planning authority, easing any concerns to support planning applications.
Book Our Archaeological Services
Before any application for planning consent is considered on a development site involving greenfield land or listed historic sites, an archaeology survey would be needed to eliminate the presence of archaeological remains or mitigate accordingly. Arbtech has a team of capable archaeologists and over 15 years of experience providing the country with surveys to support planning applications. As such, we are your best option for producing a high-quality service and results you can count on.
With archaeologists based all over the country, we can guarantee an archaeology expert in Gloucestershire to attend your site for an assessment. All you need to do is contact us with details of your site and project, and we can send across an accurate free quote for an archaeology survey on your site. You can do this over the phone or by filling out an online quote form, and once you’ve given us the go-ahead, we can choose a suitable time to undertake an assessment and help you get planning permission.