Place Services were commissioned by Central Bedfordshire Council to undertake Heritage Impact Assessments on two large potential allocation sites proposed for the new Local Plan. The documents were commissioned to assess the impact of development on the known and potential heritage within and in the immediate vicinity of the allocation sites. The assessment followed Historic England guidelines on Heritage Assessments looking at all available data, including cartographic, aerial photographic, HER and documented reports. This led to an interpretation of the existing data from the sites and an interpretation of its significance.
The quality of the historic environment within both areas was high; including important buildings, historic settlements, park and gardens and other designated and non-designated heritage assets. The historic environment in the area is sensitive to change, and can be adversely affected by inappropriate development with the projects defining the extent and sensitivity of the area. The reports will be used to inform the design of new dispersed settlements within the allocation areas which provide protection and potential enhancement to the known heritage assets and their setting.
The feedback on the reports was good with the client saying ‘I just wanted to say we’re very happy with the report, as are Historic England. They have told me that they consider that it provides a helpful independent assessment of impact on the cluster of heritage assets in the area. They broadly welcome the findings of the study and consider that it proposes a number of useful development criteria and mitigation measures to reduce the impact of the development upon heritage assets. Thanks for all you hard work on this, and in such a short time – we really appreciate it.’