Welsh Office Circular 60/96 - Planning and the Historic Environment: Archaeology - provides advice on the handling of archaeological matters within the planning system. It supplements guidance at paragraphs 134-140 in Planning Guidance (Wales): Planning Policy 1996. The circular acknowledges the important role played by the Welsh Archaeological Trusts as providers of advice to Local Planning Authorities.
The four regional Welsh Archaeological Trusts were established in the mid 1970s. They are independent limited companies with charitable status who maintain a professional archaeological staff and provide a broadly-based archaeological service within their areas. Their work includes the maintenance of regional Sites and Monuments Records, the provision of archaeological advice and the implementation of schemes to mitigate the adverse impact of development on archaeological remains.
An Archaeological Trust may therefore both provide advice on archaeological matters as part of the planning process (curating) and competitively tender for contracts arising from that advice (contracting). This code of practice, drawn up at the request of Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments, identifies the procedures that the Trusts have introduced to ensure that there is a clear separation between their advisory (curatorial) and contracting roles. It complements, rather than replaces, other codes of practice and conduct and professional standards.
Curatorial staff of each of the Welsh Archaeological Trusts are recognised members of the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers. Funding for the curatorial work of the Trusts is provided by Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and Local Planning Authorities.