Archaeology and Planning

Worcester is one of England's oldest historic cities and archaeological remains of all periods are found here. A number of sites are protected as scheduled monuments.

A list of scheduled monuments can be found here.

Of particular importance are remains relating to:

  • the Roman industrial town
  • the Anglo-Saxon burh
  • the medieval city and its suburbs, the cathedral precinct and the city defences
  • the Civil Wars of 1642-51
  • post-medieval industries

An outline resource assessment and research framework for the archaeology of Worcester was published in 2007. This underpins all archaeological work done in the city through the development process and provides a framework within which the requirements of NPPF paragraph 141 can be addressed.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published in 2012 and includes policy for the historic environment and all heritage assets.

Local policy will be set out in the South Worcestershire Development Plan.

Although national and local policy do not generally distinguish between different types of heritage asset, there are specific requirements for assets with archaeological interest. These are not just buried archaeological sites, but also sites of ‘archaeological interest'. Historic buildings and structures contain such evidence in the same way as buried archaeological remains do.

Where heritage assets with archaeological interest are, or are potentially, affected by a development proposal, Worcester City Council will require sufficient information on the assets affected, their significance, and the extent of the development impact on them, in order to determine the application. This information must be submitted with the application, and may take one of three forms.

Statement of significance

‘In determining applications, local planning authorities should require an applicant to describe the significance of any heritage assets affected, including any contribution made by their setting. The level of detail should be proportionate to the assets' significance and no more than is sufficient to understand the potential impact of the proposal on their significance. As a minimum the relevant historic environment record should have been consulted and the heritage assets assessed using appropriate expertise where necessary.' (NPPF, para 128)

Desk-based assessment

An ‘appropriate desk-based assessment' should be submitted where ‘a site on which development is proposed includes or has the potential to include heritage assets with archaeological interest' (NPPF, para 128).

Field evaluation

Where desk-based research is insufficient to properly assess the archaeological interest, a field evaluation should be undertaken.

Archaeology Services

Worcester City Council has introduced charges for certain services relating to archaeological work in the planning process. The charges cover work relating to the implementation of planning conditions and do not relate to the fee for discharge of conditions.

Worcester City Council's Development Management team are able to advise on all matters relating to archaeology and planning in Worcester. For further advice or information please contact :-

Worcester City Council
The Guildhall
High Street

Tel: 01905 721132 or 721133 or complete our Enquiry Form