Assessments often include test trenching in order to measure the nature and extent of the archaeological potential of a given development area based upon subsurface archaeological characteristics which exist below the present ground level. They comprise a desk-based report incorporating a testing exercise on site.
Pre-development archaeological testing is normally undertaken as a Further Information Request. However, it can be submitted with the initial planning application if a pre-planning meeting confirms that it is likely to be requested. For any development where archaeological issues are likely to arise, it is advisable to carry out subsurface investigations as early as possible during the initial planning stages.