On the 5th of November, the Archaeology Service received a Commendation at the 2014 Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning. This is one of the Scottish Government's most prestigious events, and celebrates achievements in planning, from high-level visions to development on the ground. The Commendation, which was in the Development Management category, was in recognition of a project to look at ways in which changes to the working practises of the service could be combined with increased use of available online resources, and in particular with the e-planning system, to enhance the provision of cost-effective expert advice to the planning services of member authorities and developers. Whilst the Archaeology Service has been in place since 1996, it was re-structured in 2011 in response to challenging financial circumstances. Previous processes were superseded by a new integrated and almost entirely digital system. This uses the e-planning resources of member authorities, as well as information from other bodies, such as Historic Scotland and the National Library of Scotland, to allow for the speedy identification of potential archaeological issues.
The Judges were impressed by WoSAS's very deliberate commitment to deliver an improved level of service. Whilst archaeology is not necessarily a mainstream part of the planning system, the Judges felt it important to raise its profile and significance. They also considered that WoSAS had created a much more streamlined system which was sophisticated but still accessible.Back to Top