I am astounded that the list is happily indulging in the squabble about in
or out of Europe, but that this astonishing piece of news passes unremarked
by most of you. You should be ashamed. This, if correct and if adopted, will
be the single most retrograde step in the story of our environment, and will
have untold consequences.
I was one of those who fought for and achieved such protection - I recall
being finally getting a budget of £3000 (I think) to undertake evaluation
work of 400+ acres of countryside just outside the city which was about to
go for housing (and is now fully built-over). It was, of course in those
days nigh on impossible to achieve much as geophysical surveys were rare and
costly. At least one villa was swept away (which was discovered through the
watching brief skills of Patrick Garrod during the building work) remained
largely unrecorded and not even slightly 'excavated'. If I recall correctly
I was told that the same development saw a £3 million pound drainage system
rebuilt because of errors - so the money to do proper archaeological work
would have been peanuts.
No unstudied and unrecorded archaeological site can be recreated once
destroyed (assuming that Palmyra suggest that something may be achievable).
My trust in local politicians is variable and depends entirely on the men
and women at the time. To what extent they can be corrupted by greed or
ambition or whatever else, is an academic issue. Remove the basic planning
requirement for the protection of our heritage (for which I suspect I may
have used European precedents and directions to pursue the argument) and no
case arguing for the need for archaeological protection has a chance of
success in aplanning appeal.
Get behind this petition, and fight for our heritage, or watch us slide back
into the grace-and-favour days of the 1960s.
Believe me, you don't want to go back there.
Malcolm J Watkins, BA, AMA, MCiFA,
Publisher of 'Games-Makers to the Empire: Roberts Brothers of Gloucester,
1890 – 1957'; Morsels of History: ‘Boil a Mouse in Urine’, ‘Take Hedgehogge
Lard’, ‘Ginger in a Coffin’, ‘Casting Stones at Napier’s Bones’, etc.
From: John Clark
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2016 3:24 PM Subject: Is archaeology political?
re the new Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill.
The Daily Telegraph (!) concluded 'Requirements that force developers to
carry out archaeological and wildlife surveys before starting housing
projects are to be swept away.’