Sunset Waltham Cross Studios

Commercial: Sunset Waltham Cross Studios
Client: Sunset London Prop Co


Sunset Waltham Cross Studios is a consented world class studio complex comprising of a modern studio campus of 21 sound stages with ancillary workshops, offices and amenities on junction 25 of the M25. The site occupies part of the former James I’s Theobalds Deer Park of Theobalds Palace.

The scheme was taken from the design stages through to planning permission and the start of construction in approximately 12 months – an extremely challenging planning application timetable.

Orion Heritage was appointed by Sunset London Prop Co to undertake the archaeological assessment for the planning application and the management of the mitigation excavations.


Orion produced an archaeological desk-based assessment and the archaeological chapter of the Environmental Statement for the planning application. This work established that the site had the potential to contain prehistoric remains as well as relict garden and water features of the former Theobalds Palace parkland.

Evaluation trenching revealed an area of Medieval remains and former garden features. In consultation with Hertfordshire County Council and Historic England, Orion agreed, procured and managed a very targeted, cost and time effective archaeological mitigation excavation strategy aimed at maximising the archaeological value of the investigation. These works were implemented ahead of the granting of planning permission so as to enable the ground works for the development to commence within days of planning permission being granted.


Our pragmatic & cost-effective approach to the project enabled the delivery of a high-quality archaeological investigation within a vitally important very tight timetable, leading to the partial discharge of the planning condition within days of permission being granted.

This work is ongoing with a final limited piece of archaeological mitigation being undertaken following the resolution of some ecological constraints in part of the site. Once this last element of work has been completed, the archaeological planning condition will be discharged in full.