PPS 6: Planning, Archaeology and The Built Heritage
Archaeological Sites and Monuments
2.3 Over 14,000 archaeological sites and monuments are currently recorded in Northern Ireland but the actual number of sites which may exist is unknown. Many others undoubtedly exist and will continue to be found as a result of archaeological work and by discoveries made during development or as a result of agricultural activity.
2.4 Archaeological sites and monuments may be taken into the care of the Department or scheduled for protection under the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (NI) Order 1995. The work of scheduling is ongoing and the fact that a site has not yet received statutory protection does not necessarily diminish its archaeological importance nor its significance as an element in the historic landscape. Any site identified in the NISMR is defined as a site of archaeological interest in the Planning (General Development) Order (NI) 1993.
2.5 While it is impractical, for reasons of scale, to depict all currently known archaeological remains on development plan maps, monuments in State Care and scheduled monuments will be identified. All sites and monuments located within or adjoining settlements will also be identified and some of these may then be designated as local landscape policy areas (see paras 2.23 & 2.24).
2.6 Development plans, where appropriate, will designate areas of significant archaeological interest (ASAIs). Such designations seek to identify particularly distinctive areas of the historic landscape in Northern Ireland. They are likely to include a number of individual and related sites and monuments and may also be distinguished by their landscape character and topography. Local policies or proposals for the protection of the overall character and integrity of these distinctive areas will normally be included in development plans.
2.7 Development plans will also highlight, for the information of prospective developers, those areas within the historic cores of towns and villages, where, on the basis of current knowledge, it is likely that archaeological remains will be encountered in the course of continuing development and change. These will be referred to as areas of archaeological potential.