Fulford Battlefield Research Website


 Recording the events of September 1066
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The planning process
The Public Inquiry
Archaeology work
Precautionary principle
Supervisory failures
Site's potential
Presentation script

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21 July 2006



Referring to

PLANNING INSPECTORATE REFS APP/C2741/V/05/1189879 & 1189885

1 Location of the Battle Site
Nothing that has been said or presented in evidence to the inquiry has altered the claim by the society that there is agreement among all the parties that Germany Beck is the most probable locus of the battle of 1066.

2 Archaeology
The quantity and quality of archaeological research provided by the developer is not disputed. However, the consistent attempt to portray this work as indicating the absence is both wrong and disingenuous. Conventional ‘digging’ technology is irrelevant to our investigation.

The single piece of investigative work that was presented as being at the behest of our group was another piece of conventional archaeology to investigate the line of the access road and not in any respect the scheme agreed.

The work by the society has assembled a mass of data.
1. This has been used to interpret the 1066 landscape which makes military sense of the battle description given in the saga of the kings of Norway.
2. I was invited to present the work in progress and the innovative methodology for analysing the ferrous material at the British Museum in April. This work cannot be completed without the cooperation of the developer which has been consistently refused.
3. We have a unique opportunity to answer the question about why so little is found on battle sites such as Hastings and Stamford Bridge with the evidence of metal working we have found. This should have been, and must still be, investigated before any development in the area is approved.
4. Numerous schemes of work have been prepared to apply appropriate methodologies and we have offered the resources to complete the work for many years.

The absence of evidence does not prove or even suggest the absence of the battle because the techniques and analysis so far applied on the area around the access road are irrelevant. For five years the developers and their agents have behave as if they had something to hide by preventing relevant work. So the archaeology must be judged as inadequate for the issues identified.

3 The values of the site
No work was conducted or presented to the inquiry to assess the value of the site. The inquiry has not been able to fully assess the recreational or tourist potential because no evidence was presented. Much planning guidance as well as common sense suggest should be part of any plan to development proposal.

It is also unsafe to rely on the ecological survey provided with this development plan which did not involve trapping or other techniques to assess the importance of the beck as a corridor linking the river and ings ecological systems with the extensive hinterland of Walmgate and Heslington Strays.

During our work in the beck we have had many opportunities to witness the mammalian traffic along this watercourse. The two walks along beck by the developer’s expert cannot be compared with the extensive local knowledge of the importance of the beck to the ecology of extensive area which feeds water through Germany Beck.

No evidence has been offered to deprive the part of the beck that enjoys the status as Green Belt land. The small section of the beck near the A19 that links the Ings to the hinterland is of very special importance not only for recreation and ecology but also as the battlesite and its existing, protected status should be maintained.

4 Conclusion
The call-in letter asks about PPG 16 and the ‘adequacy of any assessment’ as well as ‘options for minimising and avoiding damage.’ The assessment work was irrelevant and the developers were told this many times over the years. They not only failed to remedy this but blocked the attempts of our group to conduct relevant investigations.
The guidance says:
“Where nationally important archaeological remains, whether scheduled or not, and their settings, are affected by proposed development there should be a presumption in favour of their physical preservation….”(PPG16:8)
Dr Stamper, the responsible officer at English Heritage, makes it clear in his letter that the battle site is of national importance and accepts that the proposed access is the probable location.

The setting is of enormous heritage, education, recreation, economic and ecological value and this access route so Germany Beck should not be allowed as a part of any housing development.

Chas Jones
For Fulford Battlefield Society

Evidence presented to the public inquiry:

  1. Summary

  2. Archaeology

  3. Precautionary principle

  4. The ecology

  5. Supervisory failures and defects in the work done

  6. The potential of the area

  7. The impacts that will flow and what the rules say

  8. The exclusion of the community and their rights and role in the planning process

  9. Script for the presentation

  10. Closing statement (with call in letter for reference)


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The author of the content is Charles Jones - fulfordthing@gmail.com   Last updated April 2015

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