Archaeology and the planning process

Coventry's archaeology is protected through the planning process, which makes sure that archaeology is managed in-line with government guidance (National Planning Policy Guidance) and the Coventry Local Plan (Policy HE2). This guidance note ensures that archaeological sites are taken into consideration when they are will be affected by any development.

Types of development that may affect archaeological remains

  • buildings
  • extensions and modifications to existing buildings
  • construction of car parks or roads
  • installation of drainage or services
  • landscaping.

The developer should always contact the planning archaeologist when the development site is identified, and before the design is begun. The planning archaeologist will be able to advise whether or not there will be archaeological implications and the likely requirement for further archaeological work.

The planning archaeologist uses the Coventry Historic Environment Record (HER) to assess all planning applications for archaeological implications and advises planning control about archaeological conditions of planning permission.

Inadequate assessment of archaeological implications can result in the refusal of planning permission.

If archaeological remains are found in an evaluation, the planning archaeologist will advise planning control that a condition is attached to the planning permission. This will be to ensure that the archaeology is preserved, either in the ground by modifying the proposed development plan, or is excavated and recorded before development begins.

In other cases, developers may be required to undertake other programmes of archaeological work as a condition of planning permission. These programmes may include buildings recording, archaeological evaluation, geophysical survey or a watching brief - where an archaeologist is required to be on site to monitor any works that involve ground disturbance.

Coventry Local Plan Policy HE2: Conservation and Heritage Assets. Policy HE2 states that “development proposals will be supported where they conserve and, where appropriate, enhance those aspects of the historic environment which are recognised as being of special historic, archaeological, architectural, artistic, landscape or townscape significance” and that “Where material change to a heritage asset has been agreed, recording and interpretation should be undertaken to document and understand the asset’s archaeological, architectural or historic significance. The scope of the recording should be proportionate to the asset’s significance and the impact of the development on the asset.

All archaeological works undertaken across Coventry must comply with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists standards and guidance. 

To view the areas of identified archaeological constraint in the city please refer to the planning map.



Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street