The Ropetackle site had been the subject of a long-running series of failed development plans, but following the entry of SEEDA (South East England Development Agency) into the process planning, permission was given for a mixed development at the site. Owing to the position of the site within the area of the well-documented Norman new town and busy medieval port, and hence the high potential for the survival of archaeological remains, a condition was attached to the planning permission requiring archaeological work in advance of any development. Hence an archaeological evaluation was carried out in October 2000. The excavation of trial trenches uncovered a number of medieval and post-medieval remains with associated assemblages of pottery, animal bone, building material, clay tobacco pipes and other artefacts. These results confirmed the significance of the site, and underlined the need for more archaeological work.