Archaeological consultancy and advice

The part that archaeology plays in the development control process is outlined in the Government's Planning Policy Statement document, PPS 5: Planning for the Historic Environment (March 2010). Chichester District Council's strategy and policies relating to archaeology and development are contained in the Local Plan.

The District Archaeology Officer advises the District Planning Authority on the potential impact of development on archaeological deposits and recommends appropriate mitigation strategies. The most common of these are:

  • a desk-top assessment should be supplied by the developer with their application for planning consent
  • the site should be evaluated (normally by trial trenching) and that a report on the results should be supplied by the developer with their application for planning consent
  • permission may be granted with an attached condition requiring that an investigation take place prior to the commencement of construction works
  • permission may be granted with an attached condition requiring that construction works are subjected to archaeological observation and recording (i.e. a 'watching brief')
  • permission may be granted with an attached condition requiring that the developer inform the District Planning Authority of any discoveries of archaeological interest
  • planning consent should be refused

The latter is rare, normally only applying when it can be demonstrated that nationally important archaeological deposits, or their settings, are threatened.


The District Archaeology Officer can advise on:

  • whether or not significant deposits are present in the vicinity of an application site
  • the mitigation measures that are likely to be applied (but not on the cost of such measures)
  • details of commercial archaeological organisations that might be commissioned to undertake works

It is recommended that the developers of sites where archaeology is likely to be significantly affected should employ archaeological consultants at an early stage.