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The Durham County Council Archaeology Service will be moving office on 6 March 2023.

Please see Historic Environment Record for more information.

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 give advice to:

  • our planning department, as well as to Darlington Borough Council.
  • planners
  • developers
  • members of the public
  • government and non-government agencies (for example, the Forestry Commission, Natural England, and utility companies)

What we do

We assess potential developments and current planning applications against the Historic Environment Record (HER) database to determine the impact of a proposed development on what is known archaeologically about an 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 it is established that a development may have an impact on known or potential heritage assets, we will make a recommendation to the planning authority or developer. Advice may take the form of: 

  • a clear 'no objection' when there is no further archaeological interest or requirement for the developer to supply more information to the planning authority so that an informed and reasonable planning decision can be made
  • advice for further pre-determination assessment and evaluation of the site as per the principles of the national planning guidance and local development plans
  • a recommendation for refusal of planning permission if the development would have an unacceptably high impact on significant archaeological remains

Where we determine that further archaeological works may be necessary, we can provide developers with specifications for the work which they may use in a tendering process. There is a charge for this work and further information can be found in our information about the HER.

We can also provide an unapproved list of archaeological contractors if required. Please contact us directly for this.


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