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Services

Archaeology, Cultural Heritage & Historic Environment

RPS is renowned for its expertise in Archaeology, Built Heritage, Historic Landscapes and Industrial Heritage and over the last twenty years have established an enviable reputation for helping integrate historic environment issues within some of the UK's most high profile developments.

As consultants with genuine historic environment experience and an awareness of client concerns, we have a track record of working with multi-disciplinary design teams to achieve beneficial outcomes. We understand the constraints that our clients face and we know that the provision of high quality historic environment planning advice can create a positive view of development proposals. Strategic advice at an early stage can also have a favourable effect on development cost plans and programmes.

Our early involvement in our clients’ projects, working with Masterplanners, Architects, Engineers and other professionals can help to manage and reduce the “risks” that development may face.

Our services include:

Advice on historic environment issues at any stage in a project

Historic environment input to EIAs

Specialist surveys and studies

Development of project specific strategies

Project management

Expert Witness involvement at public inquiries

Review of engineering options/constraints leading to advice on reducing impact

Consultation with local and national heritage authorities.

Download our Historic Environment Capability Statement here

Case Studies

Castle Lane

Castle Lane

Bedford

Complex Development Projects

RPS provided Archaeological services for a site, featuring two Scheduled Ancient Monuments, that was central to regeneration proposals for Bedford.

The complexity of archaeological issues provided significant constraints to development and threatened the viability of the proposed development. RPS delivered a solution that enabled construction to proceed whilst resulting in significant Client cost savings.

Working as part of the Design Team, plus regular consultation with the County Archaeologist and English Heritage, we helped re-design ground impacts, thus reducing the amount of archaeological excavation and achieving preservation insitu of archaeological deposits (in line with local and national archaeological planning policies).

Scheduled Monument Consent enabled archaeological and construction works to proceed.

Development work is now completed. This exemplar project achieved a piling impact of circa 1% of the development site, the preservation in-situ of nationally significant archaeological deposits by reducing ground impacts and a low impact/environmentally sustainable approach to addressing contaminated ground.

Colchester Garrison PFI & Urban Village

Colchester Garrison PFI & Urban Village

Essex

RMPA Services, Taylor Wimpey

RPS managed Archaeological evaluations and provided the archaeological chapter of the Composite Environmental Statement for a 160 ha New Garrison PFI.

RPS subsequently managed archaeological excavations and munitions clearances ahead of construction. Investigations included a middle Iron Age enclosure with high status roundhouse, elements of field-systems of the Iron Age oppidum of Camulodunum and Roman farm elements.

RPS were appointed as Archaeological Project Managers, with responsibility for evaluation and mitigation investigations and as the point of contact between our client, the LPA and English Heritage. RPS applied for and achieved Scheduled Monument Consent for works within St Johns Abbey SAM.

The discovery of monumental Roman chariot racing arena remains led to advice on creative ways of incorporating the remains within the scheme. The structure comprises one of the most significant Roman finds for decades and is the only verified example of a circus in Britain. In addition over 500 Roman burials around the circus were recorded and cleared.

The circus was designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument by English Heritage to enable the consented development, whilst also enhancing the preservation and display of the monument.

Great Western Park

Great Western Park

Didcot

Taylor Wimpey

RPS provided heritage advice for a 184ha mixed-use urban extension for 3,300 new residences on a site with high potential for archaeological remains.

RPS’ input began with a desk-based assessment leading to an EIA. Measures to protect a Grade II Listed Farmhouse and consent to move a Grade II milestone were agreed with the LPA.

RPS’ evaluation identified the main buried archaeology including a Roman villa and substantial Iron Age settlement site. This resulted in a mitigation strategy for the client.

Around 25ha of excavation and 'strip, map and sample' investigations have included major archaeological findings including a 9,000 year old Mesolithic hunter-gatherer camp, early Neolithic remains from c.5,500 years ago - including a rare complete pot, a c.3,500 year old Bronze Age round-house settlement, an Iron Age 'village' (c.800-100BC), a Roman farm and its landscape (including the villa - impacts to which have been carefully designed out) and a Saxon building.

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace, Historic Royal Palaces

RPS CgMs is advising HRP on two new proposals within the grounds of Hampton Court palace. One proposal is for a Magic Garden for children comprising towers, elevated walkways, crowns, grottos, designed by the well-known Landscape designer Robert Myers ( Chelsea Flower Show Gold medal winner on many occasions) . The second proposal is for a historic kitchen Garden.

Kings Point

Kings Point, Reading

Kings Point, Reading

CNN Estates

RPS advised on Planning and Heritage / Conservation aspects of a programme of critical fire-safety upgrades at Henley Business School.

RPS CgMs’ Historic Buildings and Planning Teams secured a consent for the redevelopment of this landmark site in the centre of Reading. The site currently comprises an unsightly, redundant office building which has a strong, detrimental impact on the setting and significance of a number of surrounding heritage assets. The principal heritage considerations were the impact of the proposed tower on the setting and significance of a listed buildings and a conservation area.

The exemplar building proposed will become a local landmark with the public benefits from the proposed scheme comprising the provision of additional housing to help meet the Local Planning Authority’s housing quota, the creation of two new public squares as well as a new and improved canal side realm. The application included significant consultation and liaison with Historic England, the LPA and other stakeholders.

The application was submitted in January 2015 with a successful decision received in June 2015.

Portland Energy Plant

Portland Energy Plant

Dorset

W4BRE

RPS assessed the likely significant effect on Cultural Heritage for a proposed 40,000tpa energy plant within the historic Portland Naval Base.

The Naval base was established during the 1840s with the Inner Breakwater scheme being completed in 1872. The East Weare Battery was built during the 1860s and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a listed building.

Development of the Portland Naval Dockyard continued during the twentieth century, with Portland Harbour and the naval dockyard being extensively used during both the first and second world wars. Portland Naval Dockyard was disposed of by MOD during the mid 1990s and many of the naval buildings were demolished.

A number of buildings and structures survived within the proposed development area. A number of the early structures, including the Inner Breakwater, Victualling Store and Dockyard Offices are listed buildings.

RPS prepared a baseline assessment and Environmental Statement chapter. Negotiations with the District Conservation Officer led to the submission of a planning application with no objections to the proposed development on the grounds of cultural heritage.