Often developers may benefit from historic environment based advice when scoping potential sites for development, or when considering options for converting, refurbishing or adding to existing buildings. In many cases plans will have the potential to affect heritage assets and their settings and early advice from a heritage consultant could be invaluable in avoiding unnecessary future delays in the planning process.

At Armour Heritage, we are always happy to offer informal advice or comment on any initial plans or sites from an historic environment perspective, flagging up potential ‘show-stoppers’ or areas where plans might benefit from alteration to avoid or mitigate potential issues with Conservation or Archaeological Officers once a planning application has been submitted.

In a number of instances, it may be preferable for us to speak informally to Historic England or the LPA’s heritage advisors on behalf of our clients very early on in the process. Even the most informal early consultation can often be viewed favourably by the decision makers and it can offer a very helpful ‘steer’ with regard to a number of aspects of a planning proposal, such as siting, scale & mass and design. Any more formal consultations can be undertaken later in the process in the knowledge that design parameters, in terms of what will be regarded as an ‘acceptable’ impact of heritage assets, are better understood.

All in all, we will always advise any client that heritage matters should be considered at as early a stage as possible during the design process as we invariably find that it is easier and more cost effective to address potential issues well in advance of the submission of a planning proposal, rather than reactively as the result of a refusal on heritage grounds.

We always aim to respond to any enquiry within 24 hours so please do give us a call or drop us an email if our services in this regard will be of benefit to your development. Initial advise will be normally be offered free of charge with nominal fees only for early informal contact with statutory authorities.

Planning Applications

The NPPF requires matters of heritage and archaeology, collectively 'the historic environment', to be considered as part of any planning application. At AH we offer a full suite of services in this regard, including heritage statements, historic environment desk based assessments and contribution to EIA.

Heritage Statement: The NPPF states that a planning application should generally be accompanied by documentation setting out the historic interest of a site. In our experience, the most commonly required document is a heritage statement. At Armour Heritage a heritage statement represents a site specific document, normally produced in support of planning applications directly or indirectly affecting one or more designated heritage assets. This may relate to the refurbishment or conversion of a Listed Building, a new build within the setting of a Listed Building or Scheduled Monument, or development with the potential to affect the character of a Conservation Area. 

At AH, our documents are specifically tailored in response to the needs of the client, the nature of the site and the requirements of the LPA. Recent AH projects have resulted in specific heritage statements for a wide range of projects, from ducting to the rear of a Listed Building in a Conservation Area in Soho to the potential effects of the demolition of undesignated early 19th century Almshouses in Hampshire to major refurbishments of a 17th century Grade II Listed farmhouse in Kent.

Under normal circumstances, we can complete a heritage statement within 10 days of commission. Please contact AH for an indication of fees attached to this type of document – you might be surprised  how competitive our quotation is!

Historic Environment Desk Based Assessment: This type of document will normally be of greater volume than a heritage statement and will cover a wider range of issues, including a suite of archaeological data which will be interpreted to ascertain the potential for a site to contain archaeological remains. A desk based assessment would normally be required where a planning proposal includes below ground disturbance, most often applicable to new builds or demolition in rural or urban contexts. This type of assessment will normally be required by the LPA’s archaeological advisor but will also present all of the information usually included in a heritage statement regarding matters of setting, impacts on the significance of heritage assets and potential impacts on the historic landscape, townscape or streetscape.

At AH, an historic environment desk based assessment can normally be completed within 10-12 working days of commission. We pride ourselves on both the competitive nature of our pricing schedule and the quality of our product so please do contact us if a document of this type is required in relation to your planning application.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Armour Heritage specialise in EIA, supporting our clients from initial site appraisal through to submission of the Environmental Statement. AH offers a comprehensive service including completion of all cultural heritage documentation, master planning advice, attendance at project and team meetings and design, commission & management of all pre-determination archaeological fieldwork, including geophysical survey and trial trenching, in situations where this is required at the pre-submission stage.

Current EIA projects include large mixed-use development proposals in Gloucestershire and Suffolk, and ongoing fieldwork attached to projects in Sussex. Subsequent to screening, if EIA is a requirement of your planning application then please contact AH first for a competitive quote and helpful early advice.

Pre and post-determination archaeological fieldwork

In a number of instances, particularly those involving larger developments, the LPA will require further information on the archaeological potential of a site prior to determining the planning application. This may be acquired through a number of means, most commonly geophysical survey and/or trial trenching. Other methodologies may include earthwork or contour survey, borehole sampling or the archaeological monitoring of geotechnical investigations.

Following the determination of a planning application, and in cases where the archaeological potential of the site has been proven, further mitigation in the form of an archaeological  watching brief during groundworks may be included as a planning condition. In the case of sites with a potentially higher archaeological significance, larger scale archaeological excavation works may be required.

Be it in a pre or post-determination situation, Armour Heritage offers a full suite of archaeological consultancy services, including consultations with the LPA where the scope of further work is questionable or considered unreasonable, design of investigative or mitigation works through production of a written scheme of investigation. Services also include the procurement and management of archaeological sub-contractors, employed following a tendering process to ensure best value, and the final QA of all third party documentation before issue to the LPA.

Our tendering process ensures that archaeological works are completed to the highest standard, whilst at the same time ensuring our clients are offered best value in terms of costs.  Where possible, sub-contractors will be locally sourced ensuring both a local knowledge base and potential savings on mobilisation and travel costs