Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Department of the Environment - Northern Ireland Environment Agency - A Problem

Copied from DOE website

Protecting Archaeological Sites and Monuments through the Planning Process

Last updated: 15 June 2010
Waring StreetOur built heritage is a finite resource which requires effective care so that it may be enjoyed today and passed on to future generations.
Continuing development of new housing, roads and infrastructure can threaten our archaeological sites and monuments, but we work closely with Planning Service to ensure they are protected from inappropriate change or damage from development. Planning policies for protection and conservation of archaeological remains and features of the built heritage are contained in Planning Policy Statement 6 (PPS 6)Opens in new window..
Measures to protect historic monuments can include sympathetically designing new developments to carefully integrate archaeological sites and monuments and to protect their settings. In many cases archaeological impact assessments and field evaluations are carried out in advance of large-scale development proposals to identify potential impacts upon recorded, and previously unrecorded, archaeological remains.
Aerial picture of CorrstownIn cases where archaeological remains will be damaged or destroyed by development, planning conditions will require that appropriate excavation and recording takes place. Some 200-300 licensed archaeological excavations take place each year in Northern Ireland, the majority of which as a requirement of the planning process.
Our staff also contribute to the preparation of local Area Plans, whereby recorded archaeological sites and monuments and other features of the Built Heritage such as Registered Parks, Gardens and Demesnes of Special Historic Interest, can be identified and appropriately protected from future planned development.
We have produced a guidance booklet Development and Archaeology (.PDF 499Kb)Opens in new window. which provides advice to developers about fulfilling archaeological planning conditions and other archaeological matters which may arise during the planning process.
Why did the protection process fail the ancient man-made mound at Torr clachan, Moyle, Co Antrim?

Mound Marker Stone

NIEA - Northern Ireland Sites and Monuments Record - Search facility

Aim and Vision are little more than pious platitudes if regional and local public officials fail to carry out their duties or are prevented from doing so, duties that are paid for out of the public purse. 

Financial cutbacks and the subsequent reduction in specialised staff may well mean that even less protection for our heritage will be available in the future. Yet our heritage is an important part of our tourism appeal.