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Definition: Written Scheme of Investigation

"Where development will lead to loss of a material part of the significance of a heritage asset, policy HE12.3 [of PPS5, now paragraph 141 of the NPPF] requires local planning authorities to ensure that developers take advantage of the opportunity to advance our understanding of the past before the asset or the relevant part is irretrievably lost. As this is the only opportunity to do this it is important that:

1. Any investigation, including recording and sampling, is carried out to professional standards and to an appropriate level of detail proportionate to the asset's likely significance, by an organisation or individual with appropriate expertise.

2. The resultant records, artefacts and samples are analysed and where necessary conserved.

3. The understanding gained is made publicly available.

4. An archive is created, and deposited for future research.

The steps to be taken by the developer to achieve these aims can be controlled through a written scheme of investigation, usually drafted by the applicant. The local planning authority can advise as to what the Scheme should cover. Conditions can then be applied to the consent or a Section 106 Agreement entered into to secure the implementation of the written scheme of investigation."

Paragraph 130 and 131 of PPS5 Planning for the Historic Environment: Historic Environment Planning Practice Guide 

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