South Staffordshire SAD Historic Environment Site Assessment

Review of historic environment implications of allocation of land for development

Land allocated for housing at Essington, South StaffordshireAOC was commissioned by South Staffordshire District Council in April 2017 to review the historic environment implications of the allocation of land for development within the Council’s proposed Local Plan Site Allocation Document (South Staffordshire SAD). In total 33 housing sites, two large employment allocations and 12 gypsy and traveller sites dispersed across South Staffordshire were assessed using a combination of site visits, setting assessments and Historic Environment Record Analysis. AOC then produced a single integrated Historic Environment Site Assessment (HESA) that assessed the overall soundness of the proposed SAD in relation to historic environment legislation and policy. Individual pro-forma reports were prepared for each of the 47 proposed allocation sites and these were appended to the main report.

Historic England had previously expressed concerns over the proposed allocation of land at White Hill, Kinver for residential development, citing the potential impact upon the setting of the Scheduled Kinver Camp Hillfort. AOC carried out a full assessment of the potential impact of the proposed allocation upon the setting of hillfort as part of the HESA. Historic England maintained their objection and subsequently made a written contribution to the examination. AOC provided expert witness testimony outlining the methodology of the HESA at the SAD’s public examination in December 2017 and subsequently provided a written response addressing Historic England’s concerns over the proposed Kinver allocation in January 2018. In his report, the Inspector found that the assessments prepared by AOC and, separately, the White Hill promotor’s own consultant included ’a thorough assessment of the potential impact of the proposed development on the setting of these heritage assets [including Kinver Camp], proportionate to their importance and their setting’. The site at White Hill was therefore accepted for allocation and the SAD was formally adopted by South Staffordshire District Council on the 11th of September 2018.

Below, L-R: White Hill Housing Allocation viewed from Kinver Camp; non-designated rock-cut cottages on Kinver Edge; Kinver Camp viewed from the White Hill Housing Allocation