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Hertfordshire County Council

The Historic Environment Team provides specialist advice to support the planning process, from householder proposals to major transport, commercial, housing and leisure developments. This includes providing advice on all aspects of planning including:

  • Local and Neighbourhood Plans
  • Sustainability Appraisals
  • Pre-application enquiries/ planning applications
  • Environmental Impact Assessments
  • Discharge of Conditions/ S106 Agreements

Where necessary, we can provide expert witness evidence for all types of appeals.

The Historic Environment Advisory Service is a shared service supported and funded by 7 Hertfordshire Local Planning Authorities.  

The service also provides independent advice to prospective applicants and the public and, in addition to Herts Local Planning Authorities, advises on the archaeological elements of agri-environment schemes, providing guidance on sensitive management of archaeological remains in collaboration with Natural England. 

Please note that St. Albans District Council has its own archaeological officer. For enquiries within this district please contact St. Albans Museums on 01727 751 810 or visit the St. Albans Museums website.


See our charging policy for the provision of archaeological information and advice, and complete an Archaeological Advice Request Form. 

Archaeological advice for planning developments

Pre-application and pre-determination archaeological investigations

The National Planning Policy Framework (2012) notes that:

“Where a site on which development is proposed includes or has the potential to include heritage assets with archaeological interest, local planning authorities should require developers to submit an appropriate desk-based assessment and, where necessary, a field evaluation.” 

Please contact our Historic Environment team, who can advise on what archaeological information should be submitted with any planning proposal.

Archaeological planning conditions

Should planning permission be granted for a development, one or more conditions for archaeological work may be required to be discharged. 

As a general guide the process is as follows, but the requirements and procedure should be confirmed with the relevant Local Planning Authority (LPA).

  1. With the agreement of the LPA this office can provide information on the scope of the archaeological works required.
  2. The archaeological contractor should produce a Written Scheme of Investigation (WSI), detailing the method and scope of the archaeological works that will be carried out. This should be submitted to the LPA, who will approve the document or request changes. WSIs should reference the up to date Hertfordshire Archaeological Archive Standards.
  3. Once the WSI has been approved by the LPA, the archaeological work may begin. Monitoring visits will be undertaken on behalf of the LPA to oversee the ongoing work. A minimum of 3 working days' notice should be given before any archaeological work begins, to enable scheduling of monitoring visits.
  4. Once the work has been completed, the archaeological contractor will produce a report. This report should be submitted to the LPA, who will be advised by our Historic Environment team on whether the document is of sufficient standard to meet the requirements of the planning condition. 
  5. Should no further archaeological work be required, and once the report has been approved by the LPA, the planning condition will normally be fully discharged. In line with the NPPF, should the results warrant it, provision should be made for analysis and publication of the findings before the archaeological conditions are discharged.


Please note, information to discharge a planning condition should be submitted to the Local Planning Authority, and not the Historic Environment team.

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