Desk Based Assessments (DBA)
There is an increasing need for specialist reports, either at the pre-application stage or requested by planning officers to validate a planning or Listed Building application. ASL can provide a variety of reports to suit your needs. A full DBA specifically looks at proposals for below-ground excavation and assesses the potential for archaeological features to be encountered during ground-works. Recommendations can then be made, which inform the development and can suggest ways of mitigation or methods of avoiding impact to any potential heritage assets. That way a client can prepare a management programme to minimise risk and manage costs and make informed decisions about the best way forward with their proposals. This will often help avoid impacting archaeological features, thus saving valuable heritage assets and avoiding the costs of full excavation. A full Historic Environment Record (HER) search is also undertaken, where data is obtained from the local Records Office, which gives full details of all known archaeological and historical sites nearby, which helps inform the final assessment of the site. A geophysics survey can often assist in such assessments by penetrating the ground and highlighting existing, buried features through radar, resistivity or magnetometer surveys. ASL can provide these for the client if needed.
These are usually requested by the Conservation Officer to provide more information about a Listed Building or a heritage site. They are often referred to as an impact statement. A walkover survey of the site or building in question, helps to provide a topographical, geological and historical background of a site and will present the evolution of a particular plot or structure through the use of historic map regression. A photographic survey is included, with a brief overview of the site, which includes a statement of significance, a settings exercise and a discussion on the existing impacts on site, as well as an in-depth assessment of the likely impact of any proposals. A full Historic Environment Record (HER) search is also undertaken, where data is obtained from the local Records Office, which gives full details of all known archaeological and historical sites nearby. Finally, recommendations are made to inform the client with regard to the likely outcome of the proposals, so that informed decisions can be made regarding the development. Sometimes a change of design at this stage can minimise risk and manage costs and can help planning applications move forward, by showing that a flexible and fully informed approach has been undertaken, which is usually favourably received by planning teams.
Examples of these documents can be found in the report download page.