Hi, and welcome to my blog charting the progress of my PhD project at the University of York.
In December 2011 I will be beginning an investigation into the transition in planning-led cultural heritage policy in the last two decades. In particular, my research will focus on the ways in which the public engage with archaeology and the ways in which we as archaeologists or heritage professionals construct the processes of knowledge gathering, and to what ends. I will be examining the historical provenance of the various pieces of archaeological/heritage planning legislation that have stood since the 1990s; Planning Policy Guidelines 15 and 16 (PPGs 15+16) and their 2010 replacement Planning Policy Statement 5 (PPS5). I will also be monitoring the ongoing transition to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and what affect current politics will be having on the sector as it happens.
The aim of this research is to build a better understanding of archaeological practice in Britain today by interpreting such ideas as cultural heritage significance and the value-based ‘uses’ of heritage for society and considering how successful government and NGOs have been in leading the process of heritage development through planning legislation.
Given the very current nature of the subject, I feel that adopting a dynamic approach to my research will be important to the project’s success. Part of this will involve extensive public consultations as well as regular conference presentations, but I will be using this blog to share the findings I make during my research in real-time. I hope that by building a social network of heritage professionals and other interested individuals I will be able to stimulate a debate about relevant issues as the project progresses.
By disseminating my observations and findings as they occur I hope to increase the benefit that they may have for others as well as encouraging a wide range of contributors to comment and help me improve the overall quality of the work. Ultimately I hope that it will contribute to the overall understanding of the heritage sector and provide an interesting insight into the political influences that are shaping archaeological heritage practice today.
I hope you enjoy the blog.