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HER Searches - In Person?
#1
Just a quick question to ask about HER searches.

Do you have to go in to an HER in person?

What more would you get other than doing a distance search.




contractor: I need to look here. Can you tell me what is known?

HER: no worries - here is what we know - that will be £xxx

contractor: Thanks cheques in the post.



later.


HER: You must come down here to look at what we have

contractor: what? I thought you had already given me references and data dump ? what more is there..

HER: You must come in.....





Is this right? Is it fair
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#2
Most e.g. old grey lit reports are hard copy only, so obviously go in! Some correspondence folders I've been through have been a mine of information! And lots of HERs have good holdings of APs etc you won't find elsewhere. And most of the actual old HER entries frequently seem to have been written by students, volunteers and god-knows who, half the refs etc are usually wrong, duplicate entries, wrong categories etc (I had an interesting conversation with a HER person before Xmas who wanted to know what I'd found wrong since she'll never get a chance to check most of it!). Have found entire old site archives skulking in boxes in one HER!

Any DBA based purely on emailed HER data shouldn't be accepted - shame a lot of people these days seem to get away with it Sad!
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#3
I hope this isn't a query based on personal experience BAJR! I would agree with Dino, always go in to visit as there is usually loads of additional stuff you should look at and if you haven't costed for this, more fool you. Not only that but some HER data is quite vague and only by looking at the original files can you make any sense of it (antiquarian find spots in particular). I can't stand reading reports that just trot out HER data and have clearly not been to look at relevant stuff on paper. Having said that, I can't imagine circumstances where the HER would order you to visit, as per your, presumably imaginary, conversation. I would expect many would be able to tell you in advance, 'we can email you so much but it doesn't contain absolutely everything so it would be wise to come in person too'.
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#4
That's what I want to know. Just asking for a friend.



I love my HER here. though to be fair, there is hardly room to swing a cat and they need fed with donuts Smile


Quote:, I can't imagine circumstances where the HER would order you to visit, as per your, presumably imaginary, conversation. I would expect many would be able to tell you in advance, 'we can email you so much but it doesn't contain absolutely everything so it would be wise to come in person too'.

This is the bit that ..er... if it were to happen ... would disturb me.



Oh and Dino is right... I can't say the number of times I would send out a data dump for an EIA ./... only to see it returned in a report as if it was the end of the road.

It was supposed to be the start. that was what the references were for. the reports.. the... ah forget it. ( and I really can't say how many times it happened Smile )

Almost like saying... we have more, but won't tell you unless we see your fizzer...

If it were to happen, one would be mighty suspicious.
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#5
Greetings and salutations!

Just to play the cloven-hoofed advocate here.... In the current climate where provision of HER data is a charged-for service and a requirement of good practise, a Client could/should have a reasonable expectation that data provided by a Local Government Office for the explicit purposes of complying with established requirements would be adequate and sufficient for the Planning process to proceed. Should that data turn out to be inadequate or inaccurate, a Client could argue that they had complied with requirements and paid for them. The HER provider could then be open to legal proceeding for failing to provide.

I am not suggesting for a moment that an HER search is sufficient on it`s own for the purposes of Planning-led projects but, I am suggesting that HER providers leave themselves open to legal proceedings if and when their data as provided is later deemed to be a stumbling block in the life-cycle of a Planning Application.

I always request HER data in writing and in clear and concise terms. All subsequent telephone dialogue with HER providers and County Mounties are then recorded in writing. In my world, HER provided data is but one facet of a DBA/EIA etc but in contractual terms is probably the one ingredient that my Client could/should have confidence in and the right to challenge legally if that data then is seen as the principal barrier to the progress of a Planning Application. That said, it is for the representative of the Client to ensure that requirements are met. I have oodles of examples where HER data as provided has been either completely inaccurate or conspicuous by its absence.

If I had to call my Client and explain that extra funds were needed to facilitate my collation and collection of HER data in person, the Client could rightly challenge that. Not only that, in doing so, I would nullify the responsibility of Local Government Officers in the contractual provision of that data. Tiz rocky ground methinks.....

Somewhat flippantly, if I apply for a driving license from Government Offices and subsequently find myself banned from driving because the license is shown to be faulty at source, I would take the Government Offices to court. Without a milliseconds` hesitation. :face-stir:
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#6
And just to poke the bees nest with another pointy stick.....

If HER data and grey lit reports (as provided by Government Offices and likely to have been accepted by IfA validated staff) are found to be crap.........and that data (predominantly grey-lit) has been submitted by Archaeologists likely to have been validated by the IfA...... we have a problem.:face-stir:
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#7
You don't have to go to the HER to do research. It's nice to be able to, but it may be more time-consuming than other forms of research that are just as effective, and could be a complete waste of time (records too poorly sorted to use, lots of very out-of-date popular books, etc.). There are other sources for the necessary background information (university libraries, society libraries, the British Library, the NMR who will copy and post APs, etc.). Getting hold of grey lit. reports can be a problem, granted, but a lot of reports are on the internet these days and if there's one in the HER I really need and can't get otherwise, they will sometimes take my money to scan or photocopy it and send it to me.

A visit to the archive/local studies library is (almost always) essential, but the HER? Not so much.

Just in case it's not patently obvious, I'm not suggesting that desk-based reports should just parrot back the HER database, but that there are other ways to carry out an assessment of potential, significance and impact than rooting through the boxes of original site records etc. alluded to above.
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#8
Agreed completely Sir. I would argue that out of all the available data on offer, HER data is the one dataset that is collated and provided by Government. God help any Consultant who prepares desk-based reports without using HER data as provided and as such, I would argue that a Client has a reasonable right to an expectation that Government data is legally acceptable in the Planning process.
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#9
I can't recall the number of times I have pointed out to HER staff (both in person and in writing) errors in the data. Nearly always you get thanked with the promise of amendment to the record, but often that's an empty promise. I know that staff are hard pressed etc etc, but if they value peer review they should at least try and do something......worst case in my small patch: Local authority list of protected buildings had gleaned from an English Heritage website that a building they had classed as grade 2, was a mid 19th century hospital outbuilding. In reality it was an early 18th century theatre (drama not surgical). Despite my attempts to get it relisted (ought to be grade 2 starred at least if not grade 1) and providing a detailed history of its construction, owners and uses, both PastScape, and local authority lists and county HER, still have it as a 19th hospital outbuilding.....and don't even get me started on the late 17th century pottery kilns under the car-park next door!!
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#10
As there is no legal requirement for local government to hold and maintain an HER how can there be recourse to the law if the information it provides is sub standard? There are areas where the HER is no longer accessible due to loss of staff. Any one tried to access the Liverpool HER lately.
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