​The impact that new development will have on sites containing archaeological remains is one issue taken into account by the county's planning authorities in determining applications for planning permission.

Possible impacts

Where there could be a potential impact:

  • Additional information is needed before an informed assessment can be made.
  • The applicant will be required to commission a specialist contractor to carry out further research or trial investigations to evaluate the site's potential.

Early consultation about the possible impact of development proposals can have considerable benefits for prospective developers before any application is submitted.

The archaeological evaluations required, prior to planning decisions being made, may involve:

  • survey work, such as geophysical survey or field walking, as well as trial excavation or building survey work
  • the extent of work required and the techniques to be used varying from site to site and case to case

Once there is sufficient information available the likely impact of the proposal upon the historic environment can be assessed and measures to reduce or mitigate the identified impact defined.

What is taken into account?

Where important historic remains are discovered as part of an evaluation it will sometimes be appropriate to refuse planning permission.

However, the more common approach is to conserve or record the archaeological remains through the application of planning conditions or a legal agreement that either:

  • preserve the remains within the development
  • does not permit development to commence until a specialist contractor has been engaged to excavate and record the archaeological or historic building remains that are due to be lost

Copies of all reports from fieldwork are deposited with the Historic Environment Record/Sites and Monuments Record for wider access to the community.

We have two planning archaeologists who provide advice and guidance in relation to planning proposals. This relates to all applications for ultimate determination by the planning authorities in Northamptonshire.

Who should I contact?

Rather than making first contact with the planning archaeologists you will need to first contact the relevant local planning authority office that would deal with your proposal.

Charges for archaeological advice

Charges are made for all archaeological advice where this relates to proposed development for over 50 residential units, 1,000m2 of commercial floorspace or other development over 1ha.

A new charging schedule came in to force from 1 April 2022.