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Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2023

Section 67 — Power of entry on land believed to contain monument of special historic interest

222.Section 67 provides the Welsh Ministers with the power to authorise a person to enter land that they know, or have reason to believe, contains a monument of special historic interest (section 75(6)). The person must be authorised in writing (subsection (5)).

223.The purpose of entering the land must be for the inspection of the land with a view to recording any matters of archaeological or historical interest and for the identification of monuments of special historic interest including those that might be added to the schedule of monuments under section 3.

224.Subsection (2) provides that the authorised person may carry out excavations of the land for the purpose of archaeological investigations (section 75(2)), subject to agreements — for example, with the owner and occupier— that would normally be required for excavation works (subsection (3)). Such prior agreement is not required if the Welsh Ministers know or have reason to believe that a monument of special historic interest in, on or under the land is under threat of imminent damage or destruction (subsection (4)).

225.In practice, inspections under this section are undertaken either by specialist Cadw staff or by specialist archaeologists working for other organisations, such as one of the regional Welsh archaeological trusts. In recent decades, several thousand visits have been made to inspect land believed to contain monuments. In the vast majority of cases, the visits have been made with the prior agreement of the owner or the occupier of the land (or both). In many cases, the visits have resulted in amendments to the schedule of monuments (section 3) through the addition of monuments of national importance.

226.The power of entry conferred by this section is subject to supplementary provisions set out in section 69. They state that the power of entry may be exercised at any reasonable time, but that at least 24 hours’ notice of intended entry needs to be given to every occupier of the monument, including for works relating to excavation under subsection (2).

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