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Archaeology planning advice

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (PDF) sets out UK Government policy on archaeology and the historic environment in the planning process.

We provide advice on the impacts of development on archaeology and the historic environment to:

  • the local planning authority
  • developers and their agents
  • utility companies
  • archaeological organisations
  • the general public.

Seek early advice for your development proposal.

All archaeological work done as part of the planning process, under the guidance contained in the NPPF, is paid for by the developer.

Those considering development proposals within Bedford Borough are recommended to seek early advice from us about potential impacts.

This can help minimise unnecessary delays and expenses from any required archaeological work.

Archaeological design brief

If a programme of archaeological work has been recommended as part of your development proposals you will need to contact us to request an Archaeological Design Brief setting out the detailed requirements for your site.

You will need to forward the Design Brief onto the archaeological organisations from whom you would like to receive quotes for the work.

Registered organisations

We don’t keep a list of approved archaeological contractors in Bedford Borough.

Those registered with the professional body, Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA), as Registered Organisations (RO), have already undergone the required scrutiny.

Therefore demonstrating their ability to perform and produce an archaeological record of acceptable quality.

We recommend that you use a contractor who is an CIfA registered organisation.

Find archaeological contractors in our region who are qualified to undertake the required work through the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists website.

Community archaeology and outreach

We offer advice, guidance, and support to local archaeology groups planning to complete projects and fieldwork within Bedford Borough.

We have worked with the Bedford-based Saturday Archaeology Workshop, Colworth Archaeological Society, and community groups based in Sharnbrook and Willington on the following:

  • local archaeological fieldwork projects
  • assisting in negotiations with land owners
  • statutory bodies such as Historic England where required.

We have a series of display boards covering Prehistoric Bedfordshire, Roman Bedfordshire, Medieval Bedfordshire, and Post Medieval/Industrial Bedfordshire.

These boards are available free of charge for use by schools and public locations.

Historic Environment Team

For further information, planning advice or to book any display boards, please contact one of the Historic Environment Team:

Archaeological Officer Tel: 01234 718561

Senior Archaeological Officer Tel: 01234 718560

From 1 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 before 1st April 2014, you will not be charged. 

Any discussions on existing pre-application cases or new requests for briefs submitted after the 1 April 2014, will be charged by 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.

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