Desk based assessment
In short, a Desk Based Assessment is a piece of research into what is known about a site, without doing any fieldwork, and an assessment of the impacts the proposed development might have on any archaeological remains. The background research will take into account what is known already about the nature of the archaeology in the immediate vicinity of the site, and balance the potential for survival of remains on the site itself against the nature of the development, in particular its proposed basement and piling locations. The research into the archaeological background combines a variety of sources, including the HER (historic environment record) formerly known as the SMR, reports of previous archaeological work in the area, and historic mapping.
The results of this research, combined with the actual location of the site (for example if it is situated in an area of archaeological importance) will help the monitor decide whether archaeological investigation is required.