Archaeological excavations and surveys

If you are planning a development it pays to seek archaeological advice from the Council's advisers, the South Yorkshire Archaeology Service.

The South Yorkshire Archaeology Service should be contacted as early as possible before submitting a planning application. This can save time and money and avoid problems later.

An initial consultation will show whether there are any known, or likely, archaeological remains within or adjacent to a proposed development.

On the basis of this preliminary appraisal, it may be necessary to commission a fuller archaeological assessment or evaluation by a professionally qualified archaeological contractor. The report on this work should accompany the planning application, and include an assessment of the archaeological effects of the development and any measures proposed to reduce its impact. The Council Planning Authority may defer a planning decision until this information is available.

The first priority is the preservation of significant archaeological remains in situ. To achieve this, the archaeological impact of the development should be minimised by, for example, sympathetic foundation design or amendments to the layout. If this is not feasible, then detailed excavation, recording and publication is the second best option.

Archaeological implications will be a material consideration for the Local Planning Authority when making a planning decision. If further archaeological work is necessary this can be secured, either by the use of a planning condition or by a legal agreement under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

In other cases, particularly small-scale development, recording of archaeological remains during development may be advised; this is known as a watching brief and will normally be secured by a planning condition.

Archaeology in Practice

Archaeological work before and during development can take a number of forms:

 - desk-based assessment: a detailed appraisal of available information about a site before a planning application is submitted or approved.

 - field evaluation: a survey or trial excavation designed to assess the nature of archaeological remains within a proposed development area before a planning application is submitted or approved. Techniques may include field walking, geophysical survey and trial trenching.

 - excavation and recording: a controlled programme of fieldwork to provide a lasting record of archaeological evidence unavoidably destroyed by development.

 - watching brief: the recording of archaeological evidence coming to light during the course of development.           

It is national and local practice that the costs of archaeological work made necessary by development should, in most circumstances, be borne by the developer.

For more information please contact us or alternatively visit the South Yorkshire Archaeology Service web site using the link below: 

South Yorkshire Archaeology Service

  • South Yorkshire Archaeology Service, Howden House, 1 Union Street, Sheffield, S1 2SH

  • Tel: 0114 273 6354

Last updated: 29 July 2019 08:01:24