Archaeological dig and excavation works unlawful given period of use of land

A LDC seeking confirmation that a site in south Wales could continue to be used as an archaeological dig together with ancillary educational and camping uses was rejected because the activity on site had not been continuous over a period of 10 years.

The appellant bought the site in 2004 and explained that he had used it to explore the archaeological history of the settlement. This had received considerable worldwide media attention with numerous reports, publications and television appearances. Work did not occur every day, with off-site activities including find identification, recording, reporting and lectures. In the summer up to 15 visitors per day visited the site. In addition, up to 140 paying visitors per year were attracted and they often combined it with camping overnight, he claimed.

There was little doubt that the site had been used for archaeological excavation since 2004, the inspector held. Nonetheless, the main work occurred in July and August with little activity in the winter months. The off-site activities did not involve the use of the land itself and were not relevant, the inspector decided. Little information on camping and educational activities had been provided and despite some archaeological investigation the use remained agricultural.

Inspector: Vicki Hirst; Hearing

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