To help develop this article, click 'Edit this article' above.
A great deal of damage was done to the UK’s archaeological heritage by construction works in the 1960’s. As a consequence, in the 1970’s, local planning authorities began to appoint archaeologists to provide guidance and advice on the protection and management of archaeological sites and the impact of proposed developments on archaeological remains.
All local planning authorities now employ, or retain the services of, archaeological officers. Sometimes this role may be combined with that of conservation officer, although they are very different, albeit related, functions.
Archaeological officers ensure that archaeological remains are identified, recorded, protected, managed, promoted and interpreted.
Their role might include.
- Maintaining a database of archaeological remains, known as the 'Historic Environment Record' (HER) (or Sites and Monuments Record (SMR) or Urban Archaeological Database (UAD)).
- Commenting on draft proposals to ensure that they properly consider the conservation of archaeological remains.
- Assessing planning applications and considering whether proposed developments are likely to affect archaeological remains.
- If they believe there is a reasonable risk that proposed developments will affect archaeological remains, requiring that applicants undertake desk-based studies, and if necessary further evaluations such as site investigations.
- Proposing conditions that might be attached to planning consents to help protect or manage archaeological remains.
- Assessing the competence and suitability of archaeological contractors appointed to undertake archaeological projects.
- Monitoring archaeological projects. This requires that they are given adequate notice of proposed works commencing.
- Providing advice on agricultural an forestry schemes.
- Providing advice on the conservation of ancient monuments and historic landscapes.
- Promoting awareness and understanding through education and outreach programmes.
Where archaeological evaluation of proposed developments is considered necessary, this can be analogous to geotechnical site investigation with comparable costs, duration and lead-in times. Because of the time required, it can somtimes be appropriate to begin evaluations even before they have been required by the planning authority.
Managed intelligently and with foresight, archaeology need not inconvenience any construction project. However, this often requires engagement with the local planning authority’s archaeological officer as soon as possible if it is suspected that proposals may affect archaeological remains. This will help identify the procedures that must be followed and avoid abortive work.
NB All historic buildings embody interpretable archaeological information about the people who designed and used those buildings, much of it not available from other sources. That information is embodied in the layout, structure and fabric of the building and can be recorded and analysed archaeologically. In the UK this is referred to as ‘buildings archaeology’. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires assessment and / or evaluation of a building's archaeological potential. Where it cannot be preserved, a detailed record survey should be made.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Archaeology and construction.
- Building archaeology.
- Building archaeology and conservation.
- Building preservation notice.
- Certificate of immunity.
- Conservation areas.
- Conservation officer.
- Conservation practice survey 2016.
- Designated areas.
- Historic England.
- Historic Environment Service Provider Recognition.
- Landscape officer.
- Listed buildings.
- National Planning Policy Framework.
- Planning authority.
- Planning permission.
- Scheduled monuments.
- Site survey.
 External references.
Jacqueline Hughes, senior risk analyst at Equib, in pbctoday discusses how project managers for town centre developments can get their risk management strategies right.
A new paper from the Adam Smith Institute argues that the problem with the High Street has been totally misunderstood, saying that we need to reform restrictive planning rules and reject a policy of managed decline to reinvigorate our town centres.
The Whole Life Cost of Energy (WLCoE) calculator – issued by government in BETA form – is intended to help building owners and operators to understand the full financial cost of the energy their buildings use, and welcomes feedback
New research published by Historic England (HE) shows the value of heritage to England’s economy as it contributes to economic prosperity and growth through jobs in the heritage and construction sectors and from tourism.
Investigations have begun into what caused part of Chester’s Roman city wall to collapse during construction work.
Though conservation professionals' skills in understanding, defining and explaining local character and architecture can help inform new residential design.
Over 500 historic places have been added to the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) in 2019 and Historic England (HE) has showcased 21 highlights.
The K2 prototype telephone box situated outside the Royal Academy in London – built as part of the 1924 competition that gave rise to the iconic design and first listed at Grade II in 1986 – has had its listing upgraded to Grade II*.
The second in a series focusses on developing the Asset Information Model (AIM).
Reflecting issues that will be encountered across the IHBC’s June 2020 Brighton School, think tank Centre for Cities argues for High Street success.
City A.M took a tour of the first apartment to be completed within the original grade II*-listed power station with designer Tim Boyd of Michaelis Boyd – which also designed the interiors for Soho House and the Groucho Club – and Battersea Power Station’s UK sales director Georgia Siri.
A conversion of a locomotive hangar into a public library is the first retrofit to win the top prize at the World Architecture Festival (WAF).