The planning process
The Public Inquiry
York City Planning documents online
The Final Report
Kindle edition of Finding Fulford is now available
The Fulford Tapestry
21 July 2006
CLOSING STATEMENT OF THE CASE
BY FULFORD BATTLEFIELD SOCIETY
APPLICATION BY PERSIMMON HOMES AND HOGG THE BUILDERS FOR THE SITE AT GERMANY
BACK, FULFORD, YORK
COYC PLANNING APPLICATION 04/1700/OUT
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
For Fulford Battlefield Society
Evidence presented to
the public inquiry:
Supervisory failures and defects in the work done
potential of the area
impacts that will flow and what the rules say
exclusion of the community and their rights and role in the planning process
Script for the presentation
Closing statement (with call in letter for