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Planning consultation

Whether you are a professional working on a large development or an individual wanting to add an extension to your home, finding your way through planning regulations can be daunting. Perhaps particularly so when there are heritage assets to consider. We have over 40 years' experience of working with clients and planning authorities, providing cost-effective, timely solutions to ensure that your heritage and archaeological requirements are met.

If you would like an informal preliminary chat with someone about your plans, please contact Mark Houliston, Director of Commercial Services:

Project planning

We understand the importance of good project planning. It is the key to finishing on time and on budget. Whatever the scale of the work, Canterbury Archaeological Trust has an expert team of project managers to ensure things run smoothly.


Ideally, you should consider integrating us into your projects as early as possible. If we are on the team by the pre-planning stage you will have the comfort of knowing that potentially complex archaeological works are being covered in the most cost-efficient and professional manner.


We can also provide advice on mitigating the impact of development on heritage assets, lessening the need for archaeological works and preserving the heritage resource for the future.

What you need to know about development in Canterbury

Under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 it is a criminal offence to undertake construction work inside the boundaries of an Area of Archaeological Importance (AAI) without notifying the Secretary of State’s designated authority of your intentions. You must also make provision for an archaeological investigation should it be considered necessary.

Canterbury is one of only five places in England where this law applies (the others being Chester, Exeter, Hereford and York). The Director of Canterbury Archaeological Trust is the investigating authority for Canterbury and, as such, we should be one of your first ports of call when considering any development or building work in the city or its environs. Our expertise in dealing with archaeological requirements in Canterbury district is second to none.

Discharging planning conditions


If you or your client has been granted planning permission by the local authority, there may be conditions attached that need discharging before the development can go ahead.


One of these might say something like: “No development shall take place within the area indicated until the applicant has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeological work in accordance with a written scheme of investigation which has been submitted by the applicant and approved by the Planning Authority.”


It may sound confusing, but this is precisely where we can help.


We know what has to be done and offer a complete, simple solution by:


  • Liaising with Council planning and archaeological officers to determine the required scheme of work;

  • Undertaking all necessary fieldwork, whether as part of an advance team or working alongside your other contractors;

  • Conducting post-excavation analysis;

  • Completing documentation and writing the required reports to satisfy your planning conditions.


For peace of mind, call us. We have an expert team ready to provide all the help and guidance you need. 

Why is a desk-based assessment needed?

Under the most recent legislation, local planning authorities cannot validate applications where the impact of a proposal on heritage assets – whether above or below ground – is not understood. The responsibility for ensuring that planners have the required level of information falls to you, the applicant. Pre-planning desk-based archaeological assessments and heritage asset statements are therefore an essential part of your document portfolio if you are to avoid delays to your application or even outright rejection. Desk-based assessment reports can either be produced as stand alone documents or adapted to form historic environment chapters for Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA).

Canterbury Archaeological Trust has decades of experience producing desk-based assessments on behalf of clients and has carefully honed the product to ensure that pre-planning requirements are met in the most cost-effective way.

For more information about desk-based assessments, please contact: Jake Weekes, Research Manager:

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