Green fields highlighted by sunrays through heavy clouds from Curbar Edge

Archaeology and planning

innovative building in the Peak District

The National Park Authority is responsible for conserving any archaeological and historic landscape features and sites. This could include protecting archaeological remains dating back thousands of years or conserving features that are the product of the industrial revolution.

They are protected either through:

  • legislation
  • planning policy

Some sites and buildings are protected from damage or destruction because they are designated as Scheduled Ancient Monuments through the Archaeological Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act of 1979.

Other sites are protected through planning policy. There are thousands of historic and archaeological sites recorded on the County Historic Environment Records (HERS) and these are taken into account when making decisions about plannng applications.

Proposed development

We recommend you read the government's planning policies about the conservation of the historic environment.

If a proposed development is likely to affect a site of archaeological or historic interest, the National Park Authority can require developers to carry out an archaeological evaluation of the site before a decision is made about the application. Any reports resulting from archaeological investigation before an application is submitted should form part of the required ‘Design and access statement’, but can be provided as a separate document.

Pre-application advice

You will always need to contact us for pre-application advice for the types of development listed below.

  • New buildings within conservation areas or the historic core of villages (for example, on land close to historic churches, or paddocks/crofts on street frontages)
  • Any major re-development or conversion of a traditional building (whether listed or not)
  • All new builds, including houses, mineral operations, industrial developments
  • Any development that will directly impact a scheduled monument or its setting
  • Re-development or change of use to historic industrial buildings (for example, mills or factories)
  • Sites on which there are existing earthworks (for example ridge and furrow, coal or lead mining remains)
  • Proposals which require substantial ground re-modelling (for example, new ponds, tennis courts, swimming pools, horse training ménages)
  • Change of use of agricultural land to domestic use

The National Park Authority's cultural heritage team can provide pre-application advice regarding the archaeological potential of any proposed development site.

There is also information on the historic built environment and archaeology on our planning Validation Guidance pages.

National advice & guidance

You can find more information about the role of archaeology in the planning process from key sector organisations. The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists have produced a guidance leaflet for householders and construction companies dealing with smaller-scale developments such as extensions and single new buildings.

Historic England have also produced a guide called Planning and Archaeology.

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