Understanding environmental impact is crucial to sustainability and community quality of life.

South Sebastopol Archaeology and Historic Landscape Re-evaluation

8. Further recommendations on mitigation

8.1 As a previously unrecognised historic landscape with uncertainties about date and sequence, it cannot be allowed to be destroyed or even re-designed without detailed additional archaeological and historical research, including trial excavations specifically designed to examine the archaeological and historic landscape potential.

8.2 There are two clear stages of mitigation required:

  1. A far better initial impact assessment, taking account of the preliminary observations made within this report. Even if there is scepticism about the provisional conclusions, the proposition about historic landscape it contains should be rigorously tested to destruction. This impact assessment should include:
    • more thorough research of primary and secondary documentary sources
    • detailed survey and physical evaluation of selected, critical monument types, such as earthworks and lynchet lines
    • selected geophysical survey in critical areas of potential activity
    • specific targeted archaeological excavation on selected monument types and features
    • selected soil chemical and physical property analysis
    • identification of potential pollen sites and examination of useable cores
    • detailed assessment of the historical ecology and its integration with the survey of historic landscape features.
    • a detailed appraisal of the comparative value of this landscape both in the Torfaen area and within its historic region in Wales. Only in this way can any proper judgement be reached about the need to preserve it whether on a local, regional or national basis.
  2. Based on the results of the more careful and detailed impact assessment, the development design should be subjected to re-appraisal, taking account of not just the field boundaries (as mentioned in the GGAT report), but also the surviving elements within them of historic land-use. In this re-appraisal also, the value of the historic landscape as an educational and amenity resource to Torfaen and should be taken into account. If development is to proceed, more extensive archaeological interventions may be required. A further comparative evaluation could also be made between the historic landscape of this location and any alternative site.