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: http://teesarchaeology.us4.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=87579a941929db934ca16d02a&id=6a24e8474a&e=c5b9eec86c
* 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: firstname.lastname@example.org