§ Mr. Faulds
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what arrangements are being made for archaeological work to take place during phase 2 of the redevelopment of the Richmond Terrace, Whitehall, site which will extend as far south as Bridge Street and which is clue to be completed in the mid-1980s;
(2) what arrangements are being made for excavation of the Richmond Terrace, Whitehall, site where demolition is almost complete and redevelopment is imminent, in view of the fact that in 1961 during the Treasury Green development, which adjoins the Richmond Terrace, Whitehall, site, a large Saxon hall was discovered with extensive settlement evidence round about and that in 1960 Roman features were uncovered in the courtyard of 10 Downing Street;
(3) what costing has been made of a major excavation of the Richmond Terrace, Whitehall, site, the importance of which has been attested by its proximity to the Saxon site discovered in 1961, and the employment by the ancient monuments department of his Department of a research assistant to carry out documentary research on the site for a year;
(4) when a reply can be expected to the letter from the inner London archaeological unit of 15 February to the Property Services Agency requesting permission to excavate the Richmond Terrace, Whitehall, site;
(5) whether he will instruct the Property Services Agency, which is carrying out an extensive redevelopment of the Richmond Terrace, Whitehall, site, which may entail the destruction of the historic levels therein, to bear the costs of the archaeological excavation necessary having regard to the small proportion these would represent of the total costs of redevelopment.739W
§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
I had arranged from the outset that the Department's Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments would maintain a watching brief as work progressed on this site. Its reports and the documentary evidence available to the Department suggest that the area affected by the development was much disturbed by earlier building and that the cost of a full excavation would not be justified. I have, nonetheless, agreed to the request from the inner London archaeological unit to be allowed to carry out a trial excavation of that part of the site which has been cleared in preparation for the first stage of the scheme. It would be premature to make any arrangements in respect of the second stage.
No Government funds are available for the trial excavation and no estimate has been made of the cost of major excavation or the employment of staff for the purpose.
A reply to the letter from the inner London archaeological unit has been sent today.