A303 Scientific Committee

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terms of reference

 

A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down Heritage Monitoring & Advisory Group (HMAG) and Scientific Committee

 

Terms of Reference

 

HMAG

 

HMAG will provide advice on the requirements with regard to the historic environment impacts of the project’s design, assessment, implementation and mitigation where it relates to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS), ensuring the protection of its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). Where supplementary advice and expertise are required HMAG will request advice from members of the Scientific Committee (see below).

 

Membership

 

Membership of the HMAG comprises the following:

 

  • English Heritage (Senior Curator, Stonehenge WHS).

  • Historic England (Inspector of Ancient Monuments);

  • National Trust (Archaeologist, Stonehenge & Avebury WHS);

  • Wiltshire Council (Wiltshire Council Archaeology Service)

 

Purpose

 

While recognising, and without prejudice to, the particular statutory and advisory roles and responsibilities of their individual organisations throughout the life of the project the Group will advise on and formulate requirements for, guide and monitor the development and delivery of proposals in order to ensure the consistent protection of the OUV, integrity and authenticity of the WHS in particular, and the historic environment in general.

 

In particular the Group will:

 

  • Respond to and advise on specific route proposals as they are developed, setting out the requirements for the protection of the OUV and the historic environment;

  • Respond to and provide guidance on design and implementation proposals as they are developed and monitor their delivery to ensure minimum impact on the OUV of the WHS and the historic environment;

  • Set out the requirements on the necessary archaeological research design;

  • Formulate a set of principles for archaeological evaluation

  • Formulate a strategy for the programme of archaeological evaluation

  • Formulate and set out requirements on the scale, methodologies and techniques of archaeological evaluation and assessment, and monitor their delivery;

  • Formulate archaeological mitigation requirements, and monitor their delivery;

  • Formulate and monitor requirements for reporting, publication and archiving in relation to all assessment and fieldwork (assessment, evaluation and mitigation), maximising the opportunities for public benefit; and

  • Provide the Highways England Project Board with updates, advice and guidance on issues relating to the archaeological and wider heritage impacts of the project’s design and implementation via DCMS.

 

 

Scientific Committee

 

The work of the Scientific Committee will take place at the request of Highways England in the context of their A303 Stonehenge: Amesbury to Berwick Down Road Scheme The role of the Scientific Committee is to inform and advise HMAG and Highways England in the pursuit of their function on the A303 Stonehenge Amesbury to Berwick Down project where it relates to the WHS and its OUV, to provide advice in relation to historic environment impacts as the project proceeds through its design, assessment, mitigation and construction stages.

 

Membership

 

The Scientific Committee should consist of members who have a required specialist skillset or are experts in a specific aspect of the landscape of the Stonehenge WHS. The composition of the Committee will comprise:

 

  • HMAG

  • Experts who have a required specialist skillset or expertise in a specific aspect of the landscape of the Stonehenge WHS.

 

Purpose

 

At the request of HMAG and Highways England, members of the Scientific Committee will be invited to draw on their individual expertise and provide advice on particular issues relating to the historic environment impacts of the project’s environmental assessment, design and construction in relation to the Stonehenge WHS landscape. The Scientific Committee will support HMAG in its task of advising and guiding the development and delivery of the project in a way that ensures the historic environment dimensions of the project are clearly and consistently assessed and managed for the protection of the OUV of the WHS, and of the historic environment in general within the WHS. It will also ensure excellence in the design and provision of archaeological assessment, evaluation, mitigation and fieldwork.

 

More specifically, the Scientific Committee will support HMAG in:

 

  • Agreeing a set of principles for archaeological assessment and evaluation;

  • Developing an archaeological evaluation strategy;

  • providing advice on the development of the preferred route through design, including advising on how the route can best be integrated into the landscape, and monitoring during construction;

  • Providing advice on the archaeological research design

 

  • Formulating archaeological mitigation requirements; and

  • Formulating and monitoring requirements for reporting, publication and archiving in relation to all assessment and fieldwork (assessment, evaluation and mitigation), maximising the opportunities for public benefit.

 

Process of Referral

 

Issues may be referred to the Scientific Committee in accordance with these Terms of Reference and advice sought by:

 

  • HMAG

  • Highways England and their consultants via HMAG

  • Members of the Scientific Committee

 

Structure, Operation and Administration

 

The work of the Scientific Committee will take place in the context of Highway’s England’s A303 Stonehenge: Amesbury to Berwick Down Road Scheme. The Committee is not expected to address wider questions of need or strategic choice, but to support implementation of the project in a way that best addresses its opportunities and impacts and ensures it is managed for the benefit of the OUV of the WHS. The Committee will not have any statutory function in its own right, but its advice and guidance will be available to inform the statutory consent processes. Highways England should give careful consideration to any advice given by the Scientific Committee and have due regard to that advice, general recommendations and the particular observations of the Committee on specific aspects of the scheme in relation to its archaeological mitigation.

 

The Scientific Committee will not be required to provide a consensus view but will capture the full range of expertise and advice of the Committee’s membership. The Committee will have an independent chair.

 

Both HMAG and the Scientific Committee will be supported by a secretariat provided by Highways England. The secretariat will prepare agenda and record minutes / actions, collating the range of views and advice from both HMAG and the Scientific Committee and managing the provision and distribution of project information to Committee members. The secretariat will prepare a formal report to Highways England on meeting proceedings.

 

The Scientific Committee will meet quarterly or at such frequency as the needs of the project dictates. From time to time and as the needs of the project dictates the advice of individual members of the Scientific Committee may be sought outside of Scientific Committee meetings in relation to their particular areas of expertise.

 

Conduct Guidance to individual Scientific Committee members

 

Conduct should be in the spirit of the Nolan Principles1 for public service. All Scientific Committee members are requested to respect the confidentiality of proceedings. The Chatham House Rule2 will apply to the Committee meetings. Highways England may from time to time lead news releases about the workings of the Scientific Committee. Consultation prior to release will always be sought from Committee members. Consequently, individual members or their organisations may adopt a Highways England news release and disseminate information after Committee meetings – recognising nothing should be done to identify, either explicitly or implicitly, who said what.

 

Reimbursement of Travel Costs

 

Although Scientific Committee members will not be remunerated for participation in the Committee Highways England will reimburse reasonable (evidenced) travel expenses.

 

 

 

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