Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Our Services A - Z :


Archaeology Planning Advice

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out UK Government policy on archaeology and the historic environment in the planning process. In line with government policy we provide advice on the impacts of development on archaeology and the historic environment to the local planning authority (Bedford Borough Council), developers and their agents, utility companies, archaeological organisations, and the general public.


Please note that from the 1st April 2014 we will charge for all archaeological advice including responding to pre-application enquiries, production of design briefs, site visits, approval of reports and amended HER charges. If we are dealing with your enquiry prior to 1st April 2014, you will not be charged.  However, any further discussions on existing pre-application cases or new requests for briefs submitted after the 1st April 2014, will be charged in accordance with a scale of fees recently agreed by the Council. Full details of the new scheme are available under the Archaeology Charging Schedule on the 'Do I need Planning Permission?' page.


All archaeological work undertaken as part of the planning process, in accordance with the guidance contained in the NPPF, is paid for by the developer. If you are considering development proposals within Bedford Borough we strongly recommend that you seek early advice from us regarding potential impacts. Early consultation with us can help to minimise unnecessary delays and expenses arising from any required archaeological work.


If a programme of archaeological work has been recommended as part of your development proposals you will need to contact us in order to request an Archaeological Design Brief setting out the detailed requirements for your site (we do not currently charge for Archaeological Design Briefs). You will need to forward the Design Brief onto the archaeological organisations from whom you would like to receive quotes for the work. We don’t keep a list of approved archaeological contractors in Bedford Borough as we take the view that those registered with the professional body, The Institute for Archaeologists, as Registered Organisations (RO), have undergone the required scrutiny that demonstrates their effectiveness to perform and produce an archaeological record of acceptable quality.


A list of ROs that work in our region and whom are suitably qualified to undertake the required work can be found at the following website:


We recommend that you use a contractor who is an IFA Registered Organisation.

For further information and advice on this topic please contact one of the Council’s Historic Environment Team:

geoff.saunders@bedford.gov.uk, Tel: 01234 718561 (Archaeological Officer)

vanessa.clarke@bedford.gov.uk, Tel: 01234 718560 (Senior Archaeological Officer)


Community Archaeology and Outreach

We are pleased to offer advice, guidance, and support to local archaeology groups planning to undertake projects and fieldwork within Bedford Borough. The Historic Environment Team working in partnership with Marston Vale Trust and heritage interpretation specialists, In-Heritage, has recently secured a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £78,900 for a programme of Heritage Interpretation at Bedford River Valley Park. We have also recently worked with the Bedford-based Saturday Archaeology Workshop, Colworth Archaeological Society, and community groups based in Sharnbrook and Willington on local archaeological fieldwork projects, assisting in negotiations with land owners and statutory bodies such as English Heritage where required.


We hold a series of archaeological display boards which are available free of charge for use by schools and public locations. The displays cover Prehistoric Bedfordshire, Roman Bedfordshire, Medieval Bedfordshire, and Post Medieval/Industrial Bedfordshire.


If you would like further information on this topic or to book any of the display boards please contact one of the Historic Environment Team:


geoff.saunders@bedford.gov.uk, Tel: 01234 718561 (Archaeological Officer)

vanessa.clarke@bedford.gov.uk, Tel: 01234 718560 (Senior Archaeological Officer)

Don't Miss


Here you will find information on environmental and planning issues. This section provides a wealth of information including details on how to make or enquire about a planning application, rubbish, waste and recycling information.


Stay Connected
Sign up for email alerts!