Meeting documents

Venue: Commitee Room, Stoke Mandeville Community Centre, Eskdale Road, Stoke Mandeville

No. Item


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.




That Warren Whyte be elected Chairman of the BHEF for the ensuing year.


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.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 163 KB

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:

  • Corry Cashman's apologies to be added.


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


Quarrendon Leas

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.


Buckinghamshire County archaeology service reports pdf icon PDF 37 KB

·        Report of the Senior Archaeology Planning Officer

·        Report of the Historic Environment Record Officer


Additional documents:


Sarah-Jane Farr and Eliza Alqassar referred members to the report, and said the following:


  • The Councils had submitted their comments on the High Speed 2 Environmental Statement to the Parliamentary Assessor.
  • The County Council was increasingly receiving consultations on District Plans from the District Councils. These were valuable for the County Council to have at an early stage.
  • The County Council had been charging for archaeological planning advice since 2010. They had recently reviewed the Charging Policy and new charges would be introduced from April 2014.
  • The County Archaeological Service was updating its website.
  • The County Council had submitted a response to the Consultation on the new model for English Heritage. The proposed changes could affect the work of the County Archaeological Service. English Heritage was currently a great supporter of Historic Environment work and provided training. This was important with increasing planning applications and decreasing resources.
  • Historic Towns Project – the summary publications would be launched in April 2014, and this was a great achievement. All the distinct reports were available on the County Council website.
  • There were increasing numbers of planning applications coming in.


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.


The Forum noted the report.


Milton Keynes Archaeological Officer's report


The Milton Keynes Archaeological Officer was not in attendance and no report had been received.


Emergency Recording Fund Report pdf icon PDF 18 KB

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.


The Forum noted the current status of the Fund.


County Museum pdf icon PDF 37 KB

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.


Stowe Gardens

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.


Church Archaeology

Report of the Diocesan Archaeological Adviser


No report had been supplied.


Conservation Officers' Report

·       Aylesbury Vale

·       Chiltern

·       Milton Keynes

·       South Bucks

·       Wycombe



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


Buckingham Canal

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.


Agenda items

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.


Milton Keynes

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