An important function of the Welsh Archaeological Trusts is to provide local planning authorities and others engaged in development and land-use change, in both the private and public sectors, with a uniform development control service across the whole of Wales. Dyfed Archaeolgical Trust's Planning Service utilises information in the Regional Historic Environment Record and the specialist knowledge and expertise available within the Trust to scrutinise and comment on all planning applications that might adversely effect the historic environment. Local planning authorities use the advice from Dyfed Archaeolgical Trust to assess the potential impact of development on the heritage, thus trying to ensure that damage is kept to a minimum.
Most developments do not have a significant impact on the heritage, but when they do Dyfed Archaeolgical Trust may respond to consultation by local planning authorities in a number of ways. In a very few cases this response may advise that a planning application is refused in order to protect archaeology or historic buildings, but more commonly will ask for the planning authority to impose conditions on any permission granted. Conditions might require that parts of the site are not used for building, or that parts of it are archaeologically excavated before development starts, or that an archaeologist is present during building work to carry out a watching brief (and record anything brought to light).
In some cases the local authority may consider that a development effects an area of high archaeological potential but feel that they do not have enough information to decide how to treat the planning application. Here they may ask the applicant to carry out an archaeological evaluation, before they will determine the application, to gather more evidence about the likely effects that their development will have. This evaluation may consist of documentary research, survey and/or limited trial excavation, and its results will allow the planners to make a balanced decision about the future of the site. Work such as evaluation, or excavations required by planning conditions, is normally carried out by Archaeological Contractors, and for information the Welsh Archaeological Trusts List of Archaeological Contractors wishing to tender for work in Wales, can be found below.
Further information about archaeology in the planning process is contained in the Welsh Office policy document Planning Guidance (Wales) and Welsh Office Circulars 60/96 and 61/96. References to these documents and a limited discussion of their content can be found below under the Welsh Archaeological Trusts' Curators' Code of Practice.
To find out more about archaeology and planning, or to look at the impacts that your development might have on the historic environment, why not contact Dyfed Archaeolgical Trust's Planning Service to discuss these issues before you submit your planning application. Early discussions are almost always the best way to avoid conflicts between development and the needs of conservation.
Curators' Code Of Practice - The Welsh Archaeological Trusts' Curators' Code of Practice
Guide to Good Practice (Adobe Acrobat file 1.1Mb) - Guide to good practice on using the Register of Landscapes of Historical Interest in Wales, in the planning and development process.
Good Practice Assessment Forms (Adobe Acrobat file 44Kb)
For further information and advice please contact Dyfed Archaeolgical Trust's Development Control Officer
During the year April 1999 to March 2000 the Heritage Management Section has provided information from the Regional Historic Environment Record for growing numbers of inquiries from researchers, professional archaeological organisations and local community groups. Information was provided to Cadw for various purposes including assistance with recommendations for scheduling and for Scheduled Monument Consent applications. There was also consultation with regard to the Register of Landscapes, Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales which continued to inform the whole Heritage Management process.
A detailed support paper for the archaeology policies in Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park's joint Unitary Development Plan was prepared and well received. Detailed comments were made on a number of national, local and regional strategy papers such as the draft DETR policy papers on 'ports' and 'rights of way' and Ceredigion County Council's Coast and Countryside Strategy consultation draft.
Information and advice is also provided to the local planning authorities, and other organisations and individuals regarding planning and listed building applications and subsequent development. Work continued to be required in respect of the three large HLF funded schemes in Carmarthenshire; Aberglasney, The National Botanic Garden of Wales (Middleton Hall) and The Millennium Coastal Park, Llanelli. At Aberglasney, Llangathen, archaeological conditions were placed on the planning and listed building consents for the house and garden development resulting in archaeological investigation through which the history of the construction and use of the cloister garden and house was analysed. This has enabled the developing understanding to be fed back into the designs for the restoration of the garden and has sparked lively academic debate.
As in previous years, much information and advice on heritage management within Ceredigion is provided outside the local planning framework in respect of forestry, treatment of metal mine sites and coastal matters and agricultural operations. A number of planning applications have included works to significant post-medieval buildings including Trawscoed Mansion and Nanteos Mansion as well as less imposing structures at Gelli Gron, The Square, Tregaron and Llwyndafydd, Llandysul. Proposed redevelopment of the post office/shop site at Llwyndafydd, included the demolition of a clom-built cottage. It was agreed to attach a condition to planning consent requiring building recording prior to and during demolition.
The importance of the tourism industry to Pembrokeshire, particularly when other sectors of the regional economy are depressed, is reflected in the large numbers of planning applications for building conversions and extensions. This involves a consideration of the upstanding archaeology as well as the below ground deposits on farm sites which are thought to have developed from early medieval hamlets. Some sites, such as Priory Farm, Monkton, have known archaeological deposits. The county's Highways Department funded a watching brief and recording in respect of roadworks at Eglwyswrw and early medieval cist burials were recorded. Within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, meetings have taken place on coast path works, especially over the treatment of industrial remains including old mine works, both in the Saundersfoot area and at Trefrane Cliff Colliery.
During 2000 - 2001 planning archaeology casework included a proposed wind farm at Cefn Croes, Ceredigion the first major proposed development within the 'Upland Ceredigion' registered Landscape of Outstanding Historic Interest in Wales. In Carmarthenshire, involvement in the planning process for the development of Emlyn Colliery and Brickworks, Penygroes resulted in the identification by Cadw of a 'Hoffman' kiln. This is now confirmed as being of national importance. However, the structure will require considerable management to ensure its long-term survival. Excavations of the Peach House within the walled garden at Middleton Hall, National Botanic Garden of Wales have identified several phases of construction and re-modelling of the structure as well as the use of a hot air heating system that continued into the 20th century. Sites in Haverfordwest including a development at Perrots Road, where evidence of plague pits was expected, have also been investigated.
During the year the proportion of planning applications for which pre-determination evaluations or conditions on consent were recommended increased to 3%. The following are a selected number of cases where archaeological planning advice has been provided to local Planning Authorities. A Roman cremation deposit was found during a pre-planning archaeological evaluation on land between Park Hall and Priory Street, Carmarthen. The evidence strongly suggested the presence of a Roman cemetery located between the Roman town of Moridunum to the west and the amphitheatre to the east. A full planning application has since been submitted which incorporates the need for archaeological excavation. Meanwhile, a design brief was provided for archaeological monitoring of demolition followed by evaluation of surviving archaeological deposits at Priory Street Hospital, located within the centre of Roman Carmarthen. Unfortunately, demolition and site clearance subsequently took place with no archaeological monitoring and it was evident that archaeological deposits had been damaged. Further negotiations with the developer led to an agreed programme of works on the remaining archaeological deposits that included the preservation in situ of areas where Roman stratigraphy had survived. In Ceredigion, further proposals have been put forward for both new and enlarged windfarms, at Cefn Croes, at Llangwyrfon and a large development at Camddwr. In Pembrokeshire, following the production of an archaeological assessment, a scheme for full excavation and analysis was agreed with the developers for land at Hayguard Lane, Haverfordwest and a full condition was attached to planning consent for Newport Waste Water Treatment Works where a re-sited standing stone was identified within the development area.
During the year 22 design briefs were prepared for archaeological work and 37 Development Control led archaeological reports were received from various archaeological contractors.
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