Spring has Sprung

It’s been a while since we’ve posted a blog, too long really but this reflects how busy the first three months of 2017 has been. At AH we’ve been juggling large and small fieldwork projects with an unusually high demand for heritage statements and desk based assessments so our team has been pretty much flat out since the start of the year – not complaining of course!
As ever, our workload has been a combination of new and returning clients, all whom have our undying gratitude for choosing AH to assist with their planning needs, be they planning conditions work that need discharging or advice and pre-planning documents relating to archaeology, designated sites and buildings or assessments of archaeological potential – everyone needs a heads-up when it comes to potential ‘buried’ costs!
Outside the sun is finally shining, the birds are singing (and visiting our office window feeder in droves) - even our office heating has at last been turned down!
There’s still a certain amount of uncertainty about what the future may hold, particularly with the final triggering of Article 50 but we remain positive – houses still need to be built, more so than ever if the media reports of a looming ‘housing crisis’ are to be believed and Listed Buildings and other properties in Conservation Areas still need to be assessed ahead of extension or refurbishment.
Speaking of Listed Buildings and Conservation Area issues, we were pleased to hear that the proposed total rebuild of the Grade II Listed Old Sardine Factory in East Looe, Cornwall (pictured), has finally accrued the funding necessary to complete the project. AH has been involved from the project’s inception and it has provided both interesting and challenging work, from initial assessment to the difficulties encountered when it became clear that the mid-19th century structure was irretrievably unstable, its foundations having been undermined by the tidal flow of the adjacent river. The building is now set for demolition and a Level 4 building survey will be completed prior to that, along with monitoring works and potentially an evaluation post-demolition. The building will unfortunately need to be de-Listed, a process not undertaken lightly by Historic England but this has proved to be the only safe and pragmatic course of action.

All in all a bright and varied first quarter to 2017 and we are looking forward to the next few months as large-scale excavation and evaluation work at our Littlehampton site resumes following a short hiatus. Ongoing work across a number of counties, including Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Devon, Bath & North East Somerset, Hampshire, Hertfordshire and the London Boroughs of Lewisham, Merton and the City of Westminster will keep us busy I’m sure.