top of page

Desk-Based Assessments

A Desk-Based Assessment is a piece of research which utilises existing archaeological, historical, and environmental data to determine the potential for archaeological assets to survive within a given site, as well as assess the impact a proposed scheme could have upon their significance.

What is a Desk-Based Assessment?

Heritage is about more than just the physical fabric of a building, and can include a wide range of factors like below-ground archaeology and earthwork features, the setting in which a site is located, and a site’s association with other heritage assets in the area. For developers and builders looking to acquire land or apply for planning permission on land they already own, this can throw up a host of issues that they hadn’t foreseen, which can lead to projects stalling or stopping altogether.

Archaeology and Heritage Experts

Blue Willow Heritage can carry out a range of checks with a Desk-Based Assessment that is able to identify and flag up possible heritage issues related to a site’s suitability for development without having to dig or disturb the site in any way. This non-invasive approach gives you a full and clear picture of any issues you might encounter before you make any plans or firm commitments, so you can avoid problems before they happen or even pass on a potential acquisition altogether if it looks like the work you want to carry out won’t be possible.


Utilising a range of tools such as site surveys, historic mapping, LiDAR and archival research, Blue Willow Heritage can identify the potential for further archaeological fieldwork such as trial trenching or monitoring that may be made a condition as part of planning permission. We can also flag up other potential issues from a heritage perspective so that they can be mitigated early or avoided altogether without the need for expensive consultations and re-designs. Whether you’re looking to carry out development on Greenfield, Brownfield, public sector or local plan allocation sites, a Desk-Based Assessment can keep you one step ahead of the game and alert you to any nasty surprises ahead, keeping costs down and keeping your project moving.

bottom of page