What is a Written Scheme of Investigation (WSI)?
A Written Scheme of Investigation is a methodology for archaeological works. It is often required by a Local Authority (LPA) to support an application for planning permission or as a condition of approval in line with national and local planning policy.
If the required activity is not specified, the LPA must be contacted to find out what form of works is needed.
Ambrey Archaeology have considerable experience in liaising with local authorities to establish the precise requirements and ensure a smooth process.
Who prepares the WSI?
A WSI is prepared by the archaeological contractor who has been employed by the developer to carry out the works. It must be submitted to the LPA and approved before any works are undertaken. Often this will discharge the initial part of a staged condition.
What should be included in a WSI?
The WSI will include
- the planning background to the site
- a short historical and archaeological summary
- the nature and location of the intended works
- details of health and safety
- details of how the report will be prepared and distributed
- how the archaeological archive will be conserved
Critically the WIS will demonstrate that the archaeology will be investigated properly and to an appropriate sample to meet the requirements of the LPA.
The WSI also includes information about the archaeological contractor to demonstrate that they are competent to carry out the works.
How much does a WSI cost?
A WSI generally forms the initial stage of archaeological works and the cost for this is itemised in a larger quotation. The cost will depend on the scale of the project as a whole.
Frequently Asked Questions
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