Developments across all sectors, whatever their size and nature, can provide risks posed from the presence of above ground heritage assets such as listed buildings and scheduled, monuments, and from below ground archaeological remains.

The risks to development can vary in degree but can be substantial both in terms of time and money.

Wardell Armstrong has the expertise to guide developers through the planning process when heritage and archaeology are constraints to development and are well equipped to manage risks to development programmes in a timely and cost-effective manner.

An Archaeological Desk Based Assessment (DBA) is normally the minimum requirement for planning applications which have the potential to affect buried archaeological remains. Wardell Armstrong’s consultants prepare DBAs for planning applications throughout the UK either as standalone reports or as technical appendices to developments classified as requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

DBAs are prepared with a view to assessing the archaeological potential of a site such that a requirement for archaeological fieldwork can be determined. Independent advice on the necessity for fieldwork to determine applications is provided to clients upon the completion of all DBAs such that clients can be forewarned of likely archaeological evaluation requirements under national and local planning policy. All our DBAs are prepared in full accordance with the requirements of the Institute for Archaeologists.

Advice provided through the preparation of a Heritage Statement at an early stage of masterplanning or initial advice provided within a preliminary assessment report at site selection/promotion is crucial to the success of any project. A clear understanding at the outset of any project on necessary design solutions to minimise harm or provide enhancement to heritage assets can be gained through early consultation with the Wardell Armstrong team.

Wardell Armstrong is able to produce comprehensive Heritage Statements for applications affecting designated heritage assets such as listed buildings, scheduled monuments, registered parks and gardens and conservation areas, either directly (physically) or in-directly (through changes to setting). Heritage Statements are prepared inclusive of statements of significance and heritage impact assessments. During the course of the preparation of Heritage Statement our consultants are able to feed back to design teams regarding options for minimising harm and providing enhancements such that subsequently fixed masterplans can be demonstrably sympathetic to the heritage resource.

Our heritage specialists are able to advise clients on the need for listed building consent or scheduled monument consent and guide them through the application process including pre-application discussions with Local Planning Authorities, statutory bodies and other stakeholders when necessary. We are also able to offer advice on the design of works proposed including form, scale, materials and repair techniques.

Our heritage specialists can advise on appropriate repairs to historic buildings and structures, providing expert advice on materials and interventions which will sustain the significance of the asset.

Our team have considerable experience in advising on change to heritage assets, including alterations and extensions to help ensure they are kept in viable, long-term uses, as well as repairs to buildings and structures which require restoration and conservation. We can provide practical advice to architects, developers and property owners to help achieve successful outcomes.

If required by a Local Planning Authority Wardell Armstrong’s consultants are also able to prepare a Building Recording in accordance with Historic England’s guidance on Understanding Historic Buildings. These are generally prepared to mitigate the demolition of a building but can be prepared to inform proposals for change/repair.

We are able to act as Expert Witness for archaeology and heritage at Planning Appeals, representing clients from all business sectors. We have provided numerous written statements and Proofs of Evidence and have presented evidence at Public Hearings and Public Inquiries.

We have also represented clients at Examinations in Public presenting evidence in support of site allocations in the Local Plan process.

We are able to offer clients support in the production of Conservation Appraisals and Management Plans for a variety of heritage assets including Conservation Areas, Listed Buildings and Scheduled Ancient Monuments. This is undertaken through character surveys, making recommendations for change to conserve the assets, writing appraisals and management plans and aiding in the stakeholder consultation and public engagement.

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