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Historic England to revise piling and archaeology guidance

Public body Historic England, which helps care for England’s historic environment, is revising its guidance for piling.

First published in 2007, the guidance is aimed at local planning authorities, developers and contractors to help avoid piling damage to archaeological remains. The update will help them make informed decisions about piling schemes and their potential impact upon archaeological sites.

A group of engineers, local authority planning archaeologists, archaeological contractors and archaeologists from Historic England have been working on the revised guidance which, when completed, will align better with the National Planning Policy Framework.

Historic England senior science advisor Jim Williams, who has been leading up the group, said: “It’s about getting the balance right between protecting archaeology and providing space for development.

“We acknowledge that foundations might damage buried archaeological deposits. What the guidance aims to do is to highlight ways in which the harm to these deposits can be minimised. It is about looking for creative ways to protect the majority of the archaeological remains on this site whilst still accepting that construction still needs to occur in places where archaeological remains will be present.

”The aim is a balanced trade-off, where development can take place but where the majority of the archaeological deposits of a site are protected.”

Public consultation on the document will open next month with a view to publish the final guidance in the autumn.

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