MOLA gets ahead of the game with an original approach to heritage risk

MOLA team

“Data is great as a starting point but many organisations want to understand what that data means”

MOLA has partnered with FIND to launch an innovative online ordering service for expert archaeological and heritage site assessment.

Simon Lewis, FIND’s Managing Director, and Chris Thomas, MOLA Senior Consultant, this week sat down for a discussion on the partnership and the wider debate of educating the market.

The partnership allows FIND to offer heritage assessments online using MOLA’s extensive experience. “It’s a unique partnership - you’re providing the data and we are providing the interpretation of that data,” said Chris Thomas.

FIND has been a pioneer of web mapping technologies for businesses; its strong relationships with data providers such as English Heritage, Ordnance Survey and the Land Registry have enabled FIND to provide advanced mapping services to a wide range of professionals. “It’s been about providing a portal that allows you to access data and download it at the desktop” explained Simon Lewis. “We were looking for something very different to develop.”

MOLA has advised on more than 5,000 development projects throughout the UK and its track record was a key reason why FIND approached the organisation. “We are managing the whole online transaction so we have to confident in the product, which is why we chose MOLA,” said Simon Lewis.

“If a developer wants to have a look at a site for development prospects, they can get a quick report on the heritage risk in terms of the likely archaeological impact  all these things that you’re going to need to know for a planning application; you can get it ahead of the game; even before you purchase a site.”

Educating the market about heritage risk is a primary concern for both MOLA and FIND; Chris Thomas said that “whilst many developers may not necessarily always recognise how important the understanding of the heritage risk, quite a few do and it tends to be the case of once bitten twice shy”.

Simon agreed: “we’ve understood there is a real need for this risk assessment to be done and we are keen to promote that it is done early in the game and I think part of our challenge is to educate the market about that.”

“You can’t manage your risks if you don’t understand them,” said Chris. “This information has to come out at some point in the planning process, better to get it out on the table early, so you know your risks, you can financially provide for them.”

Reports start from £320, please visit the website for more information and to order.

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