Category Archives: Consultations

Durham Castle and Cathedral WHS Management Plan

Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site Management Plan
Public consultation 22nd February to 18th April 2016

I am very pleased to announce that the Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site Management Plan draft version is now live for public consultation. This is a very important part of the process of ensuring that our new plan is relevant and useful – your comments are important to us.

Please click on this link which will take you to our home page where you can find out all about the different ways you can comment on and contribute to the plan.

If you have any problems accessing our site, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Also, please do feel free to forward this message to any colleagues you feel would be interested in the Management Plan.

Looking forward to hearing from you

Jane Gibson
Durham World Heritage Site Co-ordinator
Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre
7, Owengate,
Telephone: +44 (0)191 334 3803
Mobile: 07805741211

Save Binchester Roman Fort

Message from Dr David Petts (Durham University):

Dear All
As many of you know, the Roman fort at Binchester, site of our fieldschool, has been put up for sale by its owners, the Church Commissioners. Worryingly, the site has been divided into separate lots. They owners are selling 10 lots of land (remains of the Bishop Auckland Estate) to the North and East of the town. These include Toft Hill Farm, Binchester Hall Farm, and the Bishop Auckland Golf Course (the old High Park). Two lots, Binchester Hall and Binchester Hall Farm bisect the Roman town more-or-less along the alignment of Dere Street. One lot includes Binchester Hall, the visitor car park, centre, and bath house. The other lot includes the remainder of the fort and is associated with the adjacent farm.
Worryingly, Binchester Hall has planning permission for development, which could affect public access to the Roman site. Additionally, if both lots fall to separate owners, any future access to the site, and research, would be at jeopardy. 
Auckland Castle Trust have raised substantial funds to help save the fort for the nation, and work with Durham University and Durham County Council to alleviate the risk of development. However, we need for the offer to be accepted by the Church Commissioners. To help emphasise the level of local, regional and national support for this initiative, it would be great if you could raise your concerns with the Church Commissioners through our petition, and helping us circulate this call via email and social media:
An assessment of the issues at stake can be read on this blog post, and in the media: 
Information on the recent excavations led by Durham University, which are jeopardised by the proposed sale, can be found here: 


TAS Volunteer Request: Tees Heritage at Risk

Volunteer Request : Tees Heritage at Risk

TAS seeks volunteer on Middlesbrough electoral register to contact Council’s Planning Department for fact-finding

We are seeking a volunteer, preferably a TAS member, who is on the electoral register in the Borough of Middlesbrough and who would be willing to write/email to the Planning Department, under guidance from TAS and the Council for British Archaeology. A request can be made directly (a Council response is usually required within a stated timeline) or under the Freedom Of Information Act (requiring a 20-day response).

The purpose is to request purely factual information about the nature of archaeological
evaluations (and their results) that have taken place, or which are planned, in relation to development activities that are either approved/underway or in the application/appeals process. The four focus areas are:
* St Hildas Middlesbrough
The original location ‘over the border’ for Middlesbrough’s 19th century origins but with Early
Medieval monastic forebears and evidence for prehistoric activity – noting the church was demolished and the whole area subject to development and social failure for many 20th-century generations (TAS Bulletin 11, 2006). A linear park development proposal along Vulcan Street is in an area where previous assessments have indicated that important archaeological assets remain (pers comm); Development plans include at least 8.1 hectares.

* Acklam Hall
Grade 1 Listed, Medieval landscape and natural environment assets all with a troubled recent
Executive homes and health hub, planning permissions granted early in 2013;
See April 2013 BBC website:

* Coulby Newham
Housing development almost complete to the west of Dixon’s Bank and Nunthorpe;
There is (or was) an Iron Age-Romano British settlement on Dixon’s Bank very close to this development (Durham Archaeological Journal 12, 1996) and recent investigations at
Fairy Dell (this year) have proven Medieval activity on ancient trods (tracks) through this landscape.

* Grey Towers Nunthorpe
“New village” (>300 executive homes) at Nunthorpe near Poole Hospital site;
There is an Iron Age-Romano British site under and around St Mary’s Church,
literally across the Stokesley Road, and a Medieval landscape (monastic, perhaps a deserted medieval village) at Nunthorpe Village to the south, plus earlier prehistoric flint finds in the vicinity (NE Yorks Mesolithic Project & pers comms).

* Are there more developments that you would include?

Since the Council’s withdrawal of funding from Tees Archaeology (the regional professional archaeology advisory and HER service), Middlesbrough Council’s planning process (in
relation to the National Planning & Policy Framework – NPPF, and Historic Environment Record – HER maintenance) has not been publicly visible. By writing to the Council we aim to learn what archaeological and heritage-related activities they have been undertaking in areas of
commercial and residential development. This is not about positioning, only about fact-gathering.

“In these very challenging times of austerity I think we all empathise with the many organisations – governmental or otherwise – who must make extremely difficult choices
in the face of present and future constraints on their funding. However, heritage is a fragile and irreplaceable component of our shared environment, our sense of place, social well-being and economic success. It’s the role of organisations, such as TAS, regional and national, to persuade the decision-makers that Heritage and Archaeology can contribute real, tangible value across communities through footfall, tourism, inclusive participation and education.
Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.”
– TAS Chair

If interested contact through:

Hadrian’s Wall- Online consultation ends Monday 28th April

The Centre for Applied Archaeology (University College London) has been commissioned to coordinate consultation in preparation for the drafting of the 2015-2019 Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site Management Plan. The aim of the consultation is to clarify and prioritise practical and achievable ways forward for the next Management Plan period, based on as wide a consultation as possible.

The winding up of Hadrian’s Wall Trust has no bearing on this, or indeed on the writing of the management plan, as both are going ahead as planned with support from English Heritage. In fact, the current situation makes the consultation even more important, as it will provide the Management Plan Committee and any new coordinating body with direction for the next phase.

The online consultation (link below) closes on Monday April 28th 2014, so get involved!

North Yorkshire Archaeology Service at Risk

North Yorkshire Archaeology Service at Risk
Budget cuts threaten Historic Environment Team, Archaeological and Environmental Services | Find out what you can do

The future of the North Yorkshire County Council historic environment team is at risk after new budget cuts at North Yorkshire County Council, agreed last month, which include a reduction of over £470,000 in the budget for Waste and Countryside Services. This will include a reduction of £155,000 in staff costs for waste, archaeology, biodiversity and ecology services over the next year (2014/15).

The historic environment team currently employs four members of staff, including an HER officer, and provides archaeological guidance to local planning authorities, developers, residents and land owners. They also maintain the county historic environment record.

“These cuts are part of Council measures to cut their overall budget
by £94 million over 4 years (to the end of March 2015)
with additional cuts of up to £73 million
anticipated for the period 2015-19.”

The main roles of the archaeological service are to:

  • Provide archaeological advice to local planning authorities;
  • Provide pre-planning guidance to developers and residents, and archaeological advice to landowners and agents;
  • Provide guidance on archaeological work across the county, including commercial and community-led excavations;
  • Maintain and manage heritage information and access to it (including curating the North Yorkshire Historic Environment Record);
  • Promote the historic environment of the region.

The service covers the county of North Yorkshire outside of the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks. North Yorkshire is the largest county in Britain and has a significant and diverse archaeological heritage.

“As seen in other parts of the country e.g. in Worcestershire) archaeology services have the potential to generate income through commercial work,  service charges and grant-funded projects. However, without sufficient staff in post to put this into practice, the service is likely to be increasingly vulnerable to cuts in future (which is a particular worry considering the anticipated budget cuts predicted by the Council over the next 4-5 years).”

What to do now

  • Read this short briefing document prepared by the Council for British Archaeology (PDF format, 2 pages).
  • If you are resident (and vote) in North Yorkshire write to your Councillor and consider writing to your MP.
    Keep your letter short, to the point, empathetic to the challenges facing councils, and polite. Always identify yourself and that you are one of the people they represent. Your voice counts more if they think you vote for them.
    See some more advice on How to Communicate with Your Elected Representative Effectively.
  • Find details of the County Councillor for your area via the council’s website:
  • Please share this message with other interested groups in North Yorkshire.
  • The CBA will be writing to John Weighell, the Council Leader.


Draft Tynemouth Village Conservation Area Management Strategy Supplementary Planning Document will be available for you to view and comment between the following dates:

Start date: 07/02/14 15:40

End date: 07/03/14 17:10

Please select the following link to view this event:

Please find below a notification letter regarding a consultation into the Schedule of Main Modifications proposed to the Allerdale Local Plan (Part 1) following the hearings which were held in the last week of January and first week of February 2014.

The consultation commences on Friday 14th February 2014 for a six week period, expiring on Friday 28 March 2014.