Archaeology and the Planning Process

If there is sufficient information to make an informed decision on your planning application, the Planning Archaeologist may make one of the following recommendations:

  • Request a programme of archaeological fieldwork
  • Give consideration as to whether the design of the development can be altered to avoid damaging the archaeological remains
  • Refusal (extremely rare).

What happens if further archaeological work is required?

Salvage Recording

If the Planning Archaeologist thinks that there will be a limited impact on archaeological features, salvage recording will be asked for. This involves an archaeologist being present on site to observe and identify any archaeological remains exposed during ground works or soil stripping.

Salvage Recording can be required throughout the duration of your project, or just during all soil excavation or only on an occasional basis. On completion of the recording, a final archaeological report will need to be produced and an archive deposited with the relevant depository. At this time the Planning Archaeologist will recommend discharge of the archaeological condition.

Full Scale Investigation

If the Planning Archaeologist believes the development will have a substantial impact on archaeological features, resulting in the loss of a significant proportion of a site, detailed investigation will be required. If disturbance to significant archaeology cannot be accommodated within the building design (e.g. by moving the building footprint or designing foundations that have minimal impact on buried remains) then full archaeological excavation will be required.


An archaeological condition is not completed until a final archaeological report is produced and all archiving is complete.

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