Archaeology and Planning
Archaeological sites are an important part of our cultural
heritage and the archaeological monuments in Northumberland
are among the nation's finest. The government's
National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out the
protection which is afforded to heritage through the planning
process (development management).
This page explains what we do and how developers can
design planning applications with archaeology in mind and
so avoid unnecessary conflict between development and the past.
Charges for Archaeological Development Management Services
From 10 September 2012 we are introducing a charge for the
provision of certain key pieces of work resulting from
pre-determination enquiries and post-determination and mitigation
requirements. The costs of each service provided will be dependent
on the size and nature of the application and have been calculated
using the same planning application categories as those defined by
Services. With the exception of site visits, payment will
be required in advance of providing each service, either by the
developer or their appointed archaeological contractor or
of the Charging Policy can be downloaded here.
If you wish to discuss anything about the new policy and charges
please call 01670 620305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What we do
We have a team of archaeologists who provide development
management advice to developers, the local planning authority
(Northumberland County Council), and utility companies. We also
provide archaeology advice for non-planning matters, including
forestry schemes and environmental stewardship schemes.
Our archaeologists will assess any impact that a proposed
development might have on archaeology and make a
recommendation to the planning authority; this could range from no
objection, a request for more information or archaeological work,
The Archaeology Service’s work covers the whole of
Northumberland except the Northumberland National Park, which has
its own archaeologist who provides development control advice. To
find out more visit the Northumberland
National Park website.
What happens next?
Northumberland County Council will sometimes ask for
further information to assess the archaeological impact of a
planning application. If this happens then they will usually ask
for a desk-based assessment, which makes a
detailed appraisal of available information about a site before a
planning application is submitted or approved. Depending on the
results, further work may be needed and a field
evaluation will be requested to investigate the
archaeological remains; this could be fieldwalking, geophysical
survey and/or trial trenching and is also carried out before a
planning application is submitted or approved.
If evidence provided by this process proves that archaeological
remains will be affected by proposed development what happens next
depends on the importance of those remains. Where remains of
national importance are affected the application may be refused.
Sometimes it is possible to accommodate archaeology in the design
of the development, for example through site layout, or foundation
design. This can normally be best achieved if archaeology is taken
into account early in the process.
Archaeological planning conditions
If planning permission is granted there may be an archaeological
condition requiring the developer to carry out excavation
and recording to provide a lasting record of
archaeological evidence unavoidably destroyed by the development.
Alternatively there may be a watching brief
condition to record archaeological evidence during the course of
We welcome pre-application enquiries and will advise on the best
course of action, how to satisfy archaeological conditions and how
archaeological work can be carried out. So if you are considering a
development in Northumberland, no matter how small, and would like
to discuss your proposals, please contact the Archaeology
Service. It is important that the needs of archaeology and
development are reconciled at an early stage when there is still
flexibility in design and layout.
Till and Tweed Valleys
Particular guidance is available for managing the archaeological
and palaeoenvironmental resources of the Till and Tweed valleys in
north Northumberland. Aimed at large-scale landscape and
aggregate developments the guidance document Planning for the
Future, and accompanying digital mapping, will assist in the
compiling of Environmental Impact Assessments.
Planning for the Future is available free of charge from
Northumberland Conservation, please contact us to
request a copy.
Related web pages
Northumberland Historic Environment Record
Historic Environment Local Management
(HELM) provides information and training to help those who make
decisions about the historic environment.
Association of Local Government
Archaeological Officers (ALGAO) provides a forum representing
archaeologists working for local authorities and national parks
throughout the UK. Its members are senior professional
archaeologists employed by local authorities to provide advice on
archaeological conservation and management.
Contact us on 01670 620305 or email email@example.com