A review of desk-based information such as the National Monuments Record, aerial photograph archives, local studies and the county Sites and Monuments Record should also be undertaken.The local canal society or trust and the Waterways Trust may also hold useful information. Planning guidance for archaeology and the historic environment can be found on the government's planning portal through the link below.
A walk-over assessment of the site by a qualified archaeologist or buildings historian (depending on the interest of the site) to identify features such as earthworks or above-ground structures may also be beneficial.
Evaluation and interpretation of the results should be undertaken by a suitably qualified professional who will be able to advise you of potentially major issues and statutory requirements at this stage and the need for further archaeological investigation now or at later stages of the works.
Other issues, such as how the development may affect the setting of Scheduled Ancient Monuments or listed buildings, should be evaluated.
Useful references and links
The Waterways Trust www.thewaterwaystrust.co.uk
Council for British Archaeology www.britarch.ac.uk
Archaeology Data Service www.ads.ahds.ac.uk
English Heritage www.english-heritage.org.uk
Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings www.spab.org.uk