Everybody at GGAT would like to wish Neil Maylan good luck on his 12 month secondment as Senior Archaeological Planning Officer at Cadw/WG. While Neil is away Judith Doyle will be taking over as Acting Archaeological Planning Manager, so a big congratulations to her too!
During the afternoon of Saturday 10th September I will be giving a short talk on the Historic Landscape of Blaenavon at the Learning Landscape Open Day at the World Heritage Centre in Blaenavon. I will be (trying) explaining the Welsh methodology for characterising the historic landscape, giving a rapid tour through the 21 historic character areas that make up the historic landscape of Blaenavon and describing how the methodology of the Assessment of the Significance of the Impact of Development on Historic Landscapes (ASIDHOL) can be used to show what is an appropriate development in a Registered Historic Landscape.
Our main method of finding out where development is going to occur is by checking the weekly planning list produced by the Local Planning authorities (LPA) each week. Two new ones, for Cardiff and Swansea, have been issued this morning so I go through them and note the applications that may have archaeological implications. Today there were 60 registered applications and I identified 11 that could have an impact on archaeological sites. I then checked those with the Historic Environment Record (HER) and also against the early editions of the Ordnance Survey (there are still a lot of post-medieval sites that are not included in the HER and sometimes we can spot these using the old maps). Three of the identified applications appear to be likely to have an impact on the archaeological resource so I enter them into our register so that detailed analysis and advice to the LPA can be prepared later.
Richard Lewis (Head of Projects) came to see me to explain that it appears that a major breach of a planning condition has occurred on a very sensitive archaeological site. I phone the relevant LPA only to find that the Officer dealing with the application and the Head of Planning are both at a meeting outside the Council’s offices. A helpful assistant promises to send me the full set of planning conditions for the development and gave me the name and direct telephone contact for the Enforcement Officer, in case I feel action is required.
Hello! I’m Judith and work for a Welsh Archaeological Trust doing Archaeological Planning. It’s a bit of a varied job and basically we provide information to local authorities, developers, architects, agents, utilities, anything where archaeology is affected by planning.
This morning after all the usual emails, messages etc, I’ve dealt with a utilities query – asking for mitigation where there are Bronze Age cairns in the area and explaining what that means for a below ground development. The first planning application is for methane gas extraction in an area of historic mining – ancient to modern archaeology in seconds! More tea please!
The good news is that we have sorted the potential beach of condition matter.
The work that is being carried out is covered by a previous planning consent so the approval of a programme of investigation is not required for the on-going work, although they are meant to have an archaeologist present carrying out a watching brief and Richard has sent one of his team to the site to do it.
Hopefully the results of the watching brief will assist in the preparation of a better programme of investigation when it is produced. It is amazing how much time can be spent sorting out possible breaches of conditions, but it must be done if we are going to ensure that the archaeology is protected.
I am Neil Maylan and I work as the Archeological Planning Manager for the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust, based in Swansea, Wales. We provide advice to 13 local planning authorities in South East Wales and I hope to be able to provide a work diary for today.
I started my working day circa 7.30am. As part of my job I am responsible for the Trust’s IT network and e-mails, so my first job is to check the e-mails that have come in overnight, delete the vast number of spam messages that are sent to our open e-mail accounts and redirect any messages that have been wrongly addressed or sent to the open accounts and need to be answered by a specific member of staff.
I also check my own e-mails received over night, fortunately few today and read the weekly newsletter from the Institute for Archaeologists (IfA) Maritime Affairs Group, which always has some fascinating information on an area of archaeology I really don’t know enough about.