A desk based assessment and walkover survey were conducted by Headland Archaeology on behalf of RWE Npower Renewables as part of an environmental statement to support a planning application for a windfarm at Bad a' cheo, Caithness. The cultural heritage assessment comprised a baseline survey followed by an assessment of the potential direct and indirect impacts of the construction and operational phases of the proposed development. Where appropriate, mitigation was proposed and the significance of the residual impacts assessed. The Inner Study Area corresponded to the planning application/site boundary. Within it assets were considered in relation to construction, operation and decommissioning impacts. All cultural heritage assets were considered in relation to both direct and indirect impacts. Also considered was the potential for previously unrecorded assets to be affected by the proposed development. These were assessed by a targeted walkover survey. The Middle Study Area extended 3km from the edge of the Inner Study Area. Within this area all nationally important assets (Scheduled Monuments and Listed Buildings and Inventory Historic Gardens and Designed Landscapes) were considered in relation to potential operational impacts upon setting and to inform the potential for previously unrecorded cultural heritage assets within the Inner Study Area. In addition, non-designated features, recorded in the Highland Council HER were also considered to further inform the potential for previously unrecorded cultural heritage assets within the Inner Study Area. The Outer Study Area was based on the Zone of Theoretical Visibility (ZTV), as defined in the Landscape and Visual Assessment. Within this area cultural heritage assets highlighted specifically by consultees or identified as being at risk of significant impacts upon setting were considered. The field visit demonstrated that the Inner Study Area has been intensively exploited for peat within the latter part of the 20th century. This extraction process (which removes the upper deposits of peat) has had a detrimental impact on any potential upstanding archaeology and has likely destroyed the upper layers of potential earlier (prehistoric) sites. <1>
Additional information was provided to HCHET in addition to the Environmental Statement to provide further information on the cultural heritage sites particularly those known sites of greater significance. <2>
Text/Report/Environmental Statement: Headland Archaeology Ltd. 2013. Bad a' Cheo Wind Farm: Environmental Statement. Headland Archaeology Ltd. Digital.
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