In response to planning applications, a local authority may indicate they have insufficient information to make a considered decision and request additional data, which can include an assessment of archaeological potential. Similarly, developers may also wish to know the archaeological implications of a site prior to purchase or submission of a planning application. In both these cases, a desk-based assessment can provide a clearer indication of the potential for archaeology to be present on site.
Desk-based assessments involve the analysis, interpretation and compilation of information from:
- local and national archaeological databases;
- historic and recent maps, generally held in county archives offices;
- historic information, also held by county archives offices;
- aerial photographs, held in local and national collections;
- unpublished reports on previous archaeological investigations;
- published accounts on the archaeology, history and geology of the study area;
- geotechnical investigations, and
- a site inspection to assess site conditions and constraints.
This information is then presented as a report to the client.