You are currently browsing the daily archive for 26/03/2012.

Unlike anywhere else in the civilised or uncivilised world, Britain has laws that legitimise, partner and encourage ten thousand people to research for, seek out and then randomly target nearly a million entirely unprotected archaeological sites for collectables for themselves and an Establishment that,  unlike anywhere else in the civilised or uncivilised world, falsely implies to the public that this does not involve a net cultural loss. Anyone in the Establishment care to deny it? No.

Now, the Portable Antiquities Scheme (a small quango whose continued funding, coincidentally, depends entirely upon taking the lead in the continuing denial of that net cultural loss) has co-operated in the making of a British TV programme  glorifying the finds made through this process so looked down upon elsewhere and inevitably therefore expanding it. PAS was set up to contain the net damage caused by artefact hunting and to attempt to obtain some mitigation for it, not to expand the amount of artefact hunting or increase the number of artefact hunters. That’s a simple fact. Don’t hold your breath waiting for officialdom to say Heritage Action are wrong about that.”

Every year, a staggering 90,000 finds are reported to The British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme” gushes the PAS about itself and the upcoming programme  with not a word about the far more staggering two hundred thousand plus that aren’t.  That’s gross dishonesty by omission is it not? Shame on those professionals who deliberately fail to speak up about such misrepresentation  and the perversion of the original aim into an official policy of national cultural self-harm. We’d rather be mere amateurs and maintain our intellectual honesty and self-respect.

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More Heritage Action views on metal detecting and artefact collecting

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A worrying “No”:
An application to construct 1380 houses at Quarrendon Fields on the edge of Aylesbury has been REFUSED  – because of the “undue harm” it would cause to the landscape, the setting of a Scheduled Ancient Monument and regionally important below ground remains. http://ow.ly/d/ykz  Whether you agree with it or not you can at least be confident the decision was produced through a fair and rational process since we are told it drew extensively on the methodology of The English Heritage Guidance on Setting.

So why is it worrying? Because it is likely to be one of the last of its kind. As the Secretary of State pointed out, the National Planning Policy Framework wasn’t yet in force so was “afforded little weight.” But as we all know the NPPF will be in force very shortly and will be imposing “a presumption in favour of sustainable development” in all such cases. What price a fair and rational assessment process based on The English Heritage Guidance on Setting then?!

A depressing “Yes”….
At the same time permission was sought to erect an adjoining wind turbine – and was GRANTED. No surprise there, these days. But this remark from the Inspector is depressing: “The wind turbine is unlikely to be visually oppressive or overbearing”. From that you might think it was quite a small turbine, five or ten metres high. But no, it’s massive, 149 metres (485 ft.) from ground to blade tip – that’s taller than St Paul’s and only 9 metres short of Blackpool Tower! You might well wonder, if that is ruled as “unlikely to be visually oppressive or overbearing”, will any wind turbine anywhere in Britain ever be judged visually oppressive or overbearing again?

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