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Development management advice

We provide a range of archaeological advice. We work to enhance, conserve and protect archaeological sites and features throughout County Durham and the Borough of Darlington.

Guidance documents

We have updated and added to our range of guidance documents. These versions fully replace any previous versions.

Who we advise

We mainly give advice related to planning applications, but also give advice on utility schemes like water pipelines, on forestry planting schemes, and to farmers and landowners as part of agri-environment schemes. We give advice to:

  • planners in our planning department, as well as at Darlington Borough Council
  • developers
  • homeowners
  • members of the public
  • government and non-government agencies such as the Forestry Commission and Natural England
  • utility companies
  • farmers and land managers

What we do

We advise on all sorts of proposals such as for new forestry, land use changes, new pipelines, planning applications or any other scheme that will have ground impacts. We assess the proposals against the Historic Environment Record (HER) to determine potential impacts on any archaeology in that area.

The HER is a database of all known archaeological sites, excavations and listed buildings and other heritage assets such as registered battlefields, parks and gardens, etc, in County Durham and the Borough of Darlington. Once we have established that the proposals may have an impact on known or potential archaeological remains, we will make a recommendation to the relevant authority or proposer on what needs to happen.

Advice varies based on the type of scheme (forestry advice is different to advice for a planning application, for example) and also on the impacts of the scheme (a new housing estate will lead to different advice than one or two new houses, for example). Advice will vary from no objection, through to the need to archaeological works, or in very rare cases, that the proposal should not go ahead.

We always recommend that people contact us as early as possible in their plans, so they can plan in any archaeological requirements in the most cost effective way.


We charge contractors and consultants for commercial enquiries relating to planning matters. 

Contact us
03000 267 013
Our address is:
  • Archaeology Section
  • Environment & Design
  • Durham County Council, Green Lane
  • Spennymoor
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL16 6JQ