Venue: Commitee Room, Stoke Mandeville Community Centre, Eskdale Road, Stoke Mandeville
Election of Chairman
Mike Farley opened the meeting and invited nominations for Chairman.
Bill Chapple OBE proposed Warren Whyte, and Richard Pushman seconded this proposal. There were no other nominations.
Warren Whyte thanked Mike Farley for chairing the previous meeting.
Apologies for Absence / Changes in Membership
Apologies for absence were received from Martin Andrew and Nick Crank.
Mike Farley introduced Peter Marsden, Chairman of the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society (BAS), who had edited a booklet on Stoke Mandeville Church.
Declarations of Interest
To disclose any Personal or Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
Warren Whyte declared an interest as he had joined the Buckinghamshire Archaeology Society (BAS).
Mike Farley and Richard Pushman also said that they were members of the BAS.
of the meeting held on 4 November 2013 to be confirmed
The Minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2013 were agreed as a correct record, with the following amendment:
After the meeting members visited the site of old Stoke Mandeville Church which would be destroyed by HS2.
Matters Arising from the Minutes
Oxford Diocese representative
Mike Farley and Sarah-Jane Farr both said that they had tried to contact Julian Mumby, but that they had not received a response. Sarah-Jane Farr said that she would try to speak to him again and if she had no response, she would leave a note with the Diocese secretary.
Richard Pushman asked if there had been any progress, following discussions at the previous meeting. Members agreed that they would consider the issue of voting and non-voting members for discussion at the next meeting – ACTION
Richard Pushman said that they were still waiting for the developer to sign off on the papers for Quarrendon Leas, and that a contact at Taylor Wimpey had not been established. Hugh McCarthy said that he could assist.
Sheila Keene said that BCC had put in place a Deed of Release for the restrictive covenant and documents required for completion of the transfer had been provided to Taylor Wimpey’s solicitors.
· Report of the Senior Archaeology Planning Officer
· Report of the Historic Environment Record Officer
Sarah-Jane Farr and Eliza Alqassar referred members to the report, and said the following:
Hugh McCarthy said that the High Wycombe District Plan Consultation ended in April 2014, and that it was important for views to be submitted before then.
A member asked if the new charging policy would affect the District Councils. Eliza Alqassar said that they would not charge the District Councils.
A member said that his perception was that English Heritage was looking for self-help from County and District Councils.
A member said that conservation specialists might now be called on at a local level.
Regarding the Historic Town Project, Warren Whyte said that David Green had spoken to the stakeholders of the neighbourhood plan at the beginning of the project.
Julia Wise said that as regarded the HER report, the number of consultations had gone up, which reflected the pattern in the previous two years, when there had been an increase in the last quarter of the year.
A member asked about the Senior Archaeological Officer post. Sheila Keene said that an appointment of an experienced archaeologist had been made from April 2014. The Forum thanked Sarah-Jane Farr for the work she had done in covering this post, and the Forum’s thanks to her was noted.
Milton Keynes Archaeological Officer's report
The Milton Keynes Archaeological Officer was not in attendance and no report had been received.
Report of the Environment Lead Officer
Members had received the Emergency Archaeological Recording Fund Report and were invited to note the current status of the fund.
Members discussed the fund and it was highlighted that the current balance of the fund was £7267.
There had not been any calls on the Fund between November 2013 and March 2014.
Sheila Keene asked members if they wished to consider a year’s grace on collection of contributions.
Members agreed to maintain the contributions for 2014-15. Sheila Keene said that contributions would be invoiced in the first quarter of 2014-15.
Reports of the Keeper of Archaeology and Finds Liaison Officer
Brett Thorn informed members that the transfer of the County Museum to a Trust was progressing. The Museum would be leaving the County Council in 6-12 months (a provisional timescale), although the County Council would remain as the main funder.
An advertisement for trustees had been posted on the County Council website.
Sarah Gray, Curator, had retired, and a new Museum Director, Richard de Peyer, would be starting on 1 April 2014.
Ros Tyrell, Find Liaison Officer, had not been aware that this meeting was being held, so had not provided a report.
National Trust Report
Report of the Regional Archaeologist
Gary Marshall updated members.
A new golf course was being developed, so that the existing nine-hole golf course could be moved away from the gardens. The existing golf course had been in place for 50 years, and had been leased via the School to a golf club. The excavations for the new golf course had unearthed significant Roman evidence. This had been deposited at the Museum, and was 1st-2nd Century AD. Some pink grog ware had also been found.
The new golf course would be less invasive and would allow the current location to be restored as landscape gardens.
West Wycombe Village
The Trust was currently upgrading a number of the tenanted cottages. Oxford Archaeology was recording evidence exposed during the roofing works. Dating of the buildings had found them to be 1550s or 1560s. The church loft had been dated as 1465.
24 Crown Court had elaborate timbers and had been dated as 1530s.
Works were underway to restore the South Terrace at Cliveden. Pits had exposed a 1.2m wide wall from 1660s/70s, which could possibly be the site of an earlier mansion.
Report of the Diocesan Archaeological Adviser
No report had been supplied.
Conservation Officers' Report
· Aylesbury Vale
· Milton Keynes
· South Bucks
No reports had been received from Aylesbury Vale District Council, Chiltern District Council or Milton Keynes Council.
John Brushe (South Bucks District Council) reported that the scheme at 41 London End, Beaconsfield, was nearing completion.
The Taplow Mill site was now owned by the Barclay Group, who would be engaging in a public consultation.
Sarah-Jane Farr said that they had been contacted by WSP, which was carrying out a large archaeological assessment of the Taplow Mill site. The development brief included interpretation, which was a good sign. The County Council wanted to have input into larger schemes at the development brief stage.
Mike Farley said that the deposits were potentially water-logged, which made them very important archaeologically.
Hugh McCarthy (Wycombe District Council) reported that the Daws Hill development site would bring forward landscape discoveries. The Judicial Review and the Court of Appeal had overturned local objections to the development.
Wycombe District Council was putting pressure on Chiltern Railways in regard to the Brudenell rail building.
A planning application at Uplands House had been robustly refused and the building would potentially be listed. A report would be published.
John Brushe said that English Heritage was seriously considering the listing.
Any Other Business
The Buckingham Canal Society had rewatered the Buckingham arm of the Canal, with the aim of going under the A5. The lock gates between Stony Stratford and Buckingham had been repaired. The fundraising for the project had been very astute, with a number of different funding sources. The Buckingham Canal Society had a very good website:
Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society (BAS) Update
BAS had made a fairly robust response to the High Speed 2 Environmental Statement.
Peter Marsden said that the main concerns included the Doddershall deserted village site (the whole area had been designated as a construction site), Fleet Marston Roman town and Stoke Mandeville old church site.
Warren Whyte asked for agenda items for the next meeting. A member said that there should be a standing item to report on High Speed 2. A member said that the cutbacks at High Speed 2 Ltd were very worrying, and the potential impact on the mitigations to be brought forward.
A member asked if there had been any information on Milton Keynes participation in the Forum, and noted that they were developing their own Museum.
Brett Thorn said that the Milton Keynes Museum was the existing museum, which was not run by Milton Keynes Council. Members said that it might be worth considering an invitation to the Museum, and noted that until now the Museum’s main interest had been 19th Century onwards.
Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next meeting is to be held on Thursday 18 September 2014, 2.30pm, Mezz 3, County Hall, Aylesbury, Bucks.
Thursday 18 September 2014, 2.30pm, Mezz 3, County Hall, Aylesbury, Bucks