Dr. Charles Mount - Archaeology, EIA, AIA, Scoping, Screening, Appeals, Monitoring

By: Charles Mount  05/12/2011
Keywords: Archaeology, environmental impact assessment, Impact Assessment

Cultural Heritage and Environmental Impact Assessment EIA
Dr. Mount has a professional qualification in EIA and SEA Management and has prepared more than 80 cultural heritage assessments for Environmental Impact Assessments. His thorough approach follows DEHLG and EPA guidance and ensures, whenever possible, that all identified impacts on heritage are mitigated at the pre-planning stage and proposals are acceptable to the planning authorities. In this way heritage issues are often settled before a planning application is made. Adopting this approach means that the delays and costs resulting from third party appeals on heritage grounds can be often avoided.Dr. Mount has extensive experience of the preparation and assessment of Environmental Impact Assessments. He is able to review these documents in draft form on behalf of developers or Planning Authorities, where this experience is not available in-house.Project Archaeologist
The role of the Project Archaeologist is to manage the archaeological process on behalf of a client at all stages of the development process. Often the functions of a Project Archaeologist are formally stated in the Code of Practice agreed between a development organisation and the state. Dr. Mount provides Project Archaeology Services to the Irish Concrete Federation, Bord na Mona and a range of private sector organisations and is responsible for implementing the ICF Code of Practice. . More generally the function of the Project Archaeologist is to advise the client on all aspects of the potential cultural heritage impacts of a project from design stage, through site identification and acquisistion, the planning process, environmental impact assessment and planning condition compliance. . Project briefs for fixed price contracts
One of the most important tasks in planning for an archaeological excavation is the preparation of a detailed work brief. The brief should accurately detail the area to be investigated and its extent, review previous work on the site, outline the circumstances of the project including the planning history, detail the legal status of the site, project timing and lay out clearly the objectives of the project and require those making proposals to prepare a methods statement and resource programme. Dr. Mount has many years of experience of preparing project briefs for fixed price contracts in both the private and public sector. The development and circulation of a detailed project brief will allow the excavations to be accurately and competitively costed by those preparing tenders. Planning and Heritage advice
Dr. Mount has dealt with the heritage aspects of hundreds of planning applications and is in a position to advise how the presence or proximity of heritage to a land parcel may affect a planning application. He is able to advise when a project will benefit from a redesign and in what cases the planning authorities and Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government may find the mitigation of heritage impacts acceptable.Desk and field based heritage assessments
As an experienced field archaeologist Dr. Mount can prepare all the necessary heritage assessments that may be required to accompany a planning application. He is also able to manage the requirements of a further information request in what is often a tight timeframe.Archaeological Impact Assessment AIA
Dr. Mount has many years experience of preparing Archaeological Impact Assessments. Where a planning authority or the Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government seeks an Archaeological Impact Assessment to accompany a planning application or as part of a further information request this can be prepared by Dr. Mount.Desk-based assessment, which includes the examination of designation maps, aerial photography and historic cartography is the least expensive and most rapid approach. The addition of field assessment will ensure that there are no upstanding undesignated heritage features present.Structure assessment
Since 2007 Dr. Mount has prepared more than 40 desk and field-based assessments of structures for EIA and Further information requests. These assessments consist of structure identification, description and assessment of designation status intended to satisfy the Architectural Guidelines. Usually these assessments can be carried out at the same time as the archaeological assessment, resulting in substantial cost and time savings.Planning appeals
Dr. Mount has prepared the Cultural Heritage sections of a number of planning appeals to An Bord Pleanala involving developments ranging from single houses to large-scale industrial developments. The time-frame for planning appeals is short and Dr. Mount has the professional flexibility to respond quickly within the appeals process deadline.Expert testimony at planning hearings
Dr. Mount possesses the highest level of archaeological qualifications, is a licensed archaeologist, a member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland, has long experience of heritage and planning issues and has worked within the state heritage sector. He is therefore well qualified to provide expert testimony at An Bord Pleanala planning hearings.Archaeological Monitoring
Archaeological monitoring may be a planning condition. Dr. Mount has extensive experience of carrying out archaeological monitoring of development sites from single houses to large industrial developments and the production of appropriate reports. Geophysical survey brief preparation
As with excavation it is vital to prepare a detailed work brief for geophysical survey. The development and circulation of a detailed work brief will allow the geophysical survey to be accurately and competitively costed by those preparing tenders.Project Management
Dr. Mount has more than twenty years of project management experience gained in private and public sector organisations in the field of heritage in relation to excavations, surveys and research projects. He also has formal management training acquired during his study for the MBA degree. Cost reduction
Through practical approaches to project development and management such as detailed work brief preparation, competitive tendering and project management Dr. Mount has been able to fulfil the heritage requirements of his clients with good quality work at a competitive cost.Certification of costs
The certification of costs is an important component of project management. The ability to determine what work is necessary and appropriate and ensure that work and reports have been completed to an appropriate standard before payment is a central aspect of managing heritage projects. It requires a knowledge of archaeology, heritage, legislation, codes of practice, guidelines and professional practice that are not available widely in the development area and only come with many years of practical experience. Dr. Mount has many years experience of project cost certification.Liaison with the statutory authorities
An important aspect of the development process is clear and timely communication with the statutory authorities. The statutory authorities have a role at the planning stage and, if heritage is to be impacted, at the planning condition implementation stage. To avoid the annoyance and expense of planning delays or delays during the development process it is important to confer with the statutory authorities. As a former employee of the Heritage Council and a Project Archaeologist Dr. Mount has many years of experience of communicating with the statutory authorities.Pre-acquisition land surveys
When planning any development proposal it is important to have the lands assessed for archaeological features or built heritage before the lands are acquired. Dr. Mount is an experienced field archaeologist who provides a variety of approaches to the assessment of heritage with complete confidentiality.Providing complete confidentiality
Dr. Mount is fully indemnified and guarantees total confidentiality in regards to client business.


Keywords: Archaeology, environmental impact assessment, Impact Assessment, Project Archaeology