Archaeology & planning

Developers are encouraged to contact us at the design stage, before submitting a planning application.

Archaeological process stages

Archaeological works usually happen in stages, each stage informing the next.


An assessment establishes what the likely archaeological potential of a development site is.

Using a variety of archive sources, archaeologists will piece together what is known about a site and prepare a report outlining the results.

In all cases where archaeological remains are possible, it is likely we will recommend that at least a desk-based assessment is prepared by a professional archaeological contractor (we are archaeological advisors and do not undertake commercial archaeological work).

Archaeological contractors.

If geotechnical works are to be carried out, it will be useful if these can be archaeologically monitored and the results considered in the assessment.


To clarify the nature and significance of any expected archaeological remains, we may recommend a field evaluation.

This involves limited site investigation using techniques such as geophysical survey or trial trenching.

If the site contains a standing building of potential interest, we will also recommend its detailed appraisal.

Both the assessment and evaluation stages are likely to be required in advance of a planning decision.


Once we know what archaeological remains survive on a site, we decide what should happen next.

Where remains will be damaged by a development, we may seek a programme of detailed excavation or, where buildings of archaeological interest are to be affected, a programme of drawn and photographic recording.

This will allow an understanding of the site to be gained before it is damaged or lost.

Results will be presented in a report for the Sites and Monuments Record, while original materials will be sent to museums and archives.

Where the results are of particular interest, these need to be published in a journal or as a book. 

Opportunities for on site interpretation will also be sought.

Contact Archaeology Service

Howden House
1 Union Street
S1 2SH

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