The County Council provides a specialist archaeological advisory service to the County, District and Borough local planning authorities (LPAs) of Leicestershire and Rutland. Where archaeological advice is offered in relation to a development proposal it represents a ‘material consideration’ in the planning authority’s determination of that scheme.
If there is a need to establish the character and significance of heritage assets affected by a development proposal, our advice may include a recommendation for archaeological work to be undertaken prior to the determination of planning permission (e.g. desk-based assessment and/or field evaluation). Alternatively, where the archaeological implications of development are already understood, these issues may be adequately addressed through a programme of post-determination archaeological mitigation, secured by condition upon any planning approval (e.g. excavation, historic building survey, etc.).
More information regarding the implications of archaeological remains, historic buildings and the wider historic environment on the planning process is available on the websites of the Institute for Archaeologists, the Council for British Archaeology and British Archaeological Jobs Resource.
Where archaeological work is to be undertaken, the Historic & Natural Environment Team (HNET) can provide a Brief for the necessary work. The Brief should then be supplied to one or more archaeological contractors. To assist with this process HNET maintain a list of historic environment practitioners (see our List of Archaeological Contractors (PDF, 55Kb) - it should be underlined that this is not a 'recommended' list but rather a list of those contractors who have either worked or expressed an interest to work within Leicestershire and Rutland). Once a contractor has been chosen, they will be required to prepare a Specification or Written Scheme of Investigation detailing the necessary work, which must then be forwarded to the LPA and this office for approval, prior to the start of the archaeological investigation.
Each district and borough has their own planning website providing guidance on the submission of planning applications, and forms for their submission. For general information regarding the planning process you may like to visit the government's Planning Portal.
The historic environment comprises a broad range of ‘heritage asset’, including both designated and undesignated archaeological remains, historic buildings and landscapes. This valuable and finite resource is protected under the provisions of specific legislation and through national and local Planning Policy. A small proportion of sites and buildings have statutory protection either as Scheduled Monuments under the Archaeological Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, or as Listed Buildings under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.
However, the majority of the historic environment and its constituent heritage assets is managed through the planning process, as advised by government advice in the form of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which replaces the Planning Policy Statement (PPS5): Planning for the Historic Environment, although its associated Practice Guidance is still relevant:
Locally national guidance is supplemented by some saved Local Plan policies, increasingly to be replaced by Local Development Frameworks and their associated policies.
Principal Planning Archaeologist (for applications in Charnwood, Melton, North West Leicestershire and Rutland): telephone no. (0116) 305 8322, e-mail Richard.Clark@leics.gov.uk.
Senior Planning Archaeologist (for applications in Blaby, Harborough, Hinckley & Bosworth and Oadby & Wigston): telephone no. (0116) 305 6217, e-mail Teresa.Hawtin@leics.gov.uk.
Postal address: Historic & Natural Environment Team, Planning Historic and Natural Environment, Leicestershire County Council, County Hall, Leicester Road, Glenfield, Leicestershire, LE3 8RA.
Page Last Updated: 16 April 2013