Archaeology charging schedule

List of charges for services available from Archaeological Service including planning, The Historic Environment Record (HER) and archive services.

Charging has been introduced to ensure that we have the resources to allow the continued provision of the service. Local Planning Authorities do not currently make any contribution to the costs of archaeological consultation process in relation to planning applications.

The Local Government Act 2003 and the Localism Act 2011, gives local authorities the power to charge. We are bound to ensure that income from any charges does not exceed the costs of providing the service. The charging schedules below will be reviewed annually.

Our charges

The charges are for our expertise in quality controlling archaeological work to ensure compliance with national and local planning policy. The charges also apply to any developments which fall outside local planning authority decision making such as utility pipelines, cables and national infrastructure projects. Charges also apply to all permitted development. There are no charges for most community led projects.

We do not charge for initial pre-application advice.

What you need to know

  • A brief remains valid for one year.
  • A brief will usually be provided within 15 working days from application.
  • On request, a 'fast track' brief can be provided within 5 working days for an additional 50% charge on the standard tariff. We will get back to you within two working days if we cannot meet your fast-track request.
  • Comments on standard reports are usually made within 30 days of submission of the relevant documentation (by negotiation for major projects)
  • Approval of a submitted WSI will usually be completed within 15 working days. Where a WSI or report fails to meet required standards and / or substantive changes are required additional charges are made at the standard rate of £60 per hour.
  • All charges in the Schedule are exclusive of 20% VAT.

What you need to do

A archaeological brief and specification form must be completed for all projects (including charitable/ community projects). You'll be sent an invoice from Suffolk County Council with your brief.

What's included in the charge

The charge is inclusive of: production of the project brief, review of the Written Scheme of Investigation (WSI), monitoring of the fieldwork and scrutiny of the report to ensure that planning requirements are fulfilled. Any development sites within a historic urban core as defined by the HER will incur an additional 25% charge to the amounts in the table below.

  • An administration charge of £30 will be added if brief request forms are submitted with incorrect information for invoicing purposes, requiring replacement invoices to be issued.

The planning advice charges do not include any searches of the Historic Environment Record (HER). Find out about the HER charges in the next section on this page.

Planning advice charges


  • Pre-app advice, before a brief is commissioned by the developer, is free of charge. (complex sites are charged on a case-by-case basis)
  • Meetings and site visits at developers request are charged at £60 per hour plus travel costs.
  • Hectares is shown in the table below as ha. E.g., 0.5ha


Planning advice charges


Description of work





Development of a historic building (demolition and/or conversion)


Not applicable

Not applicable


Development is a single dwelling, garage/cart lodge, extension or other small development


  • £150
  • 1 site visit
  • £210
  • 1 site visit


Development is between 2 and 10 dwellings or covers less than 0.5ha in area


  • £300
  • 1 site visit
  • £480
  • 2 site visits


Development is 11 dwellings or more or between 0.5ha and 2.5ha in area

Not applicable

  • £600
  • 2 site visits
  • £900
  • 3 site visits


Development is between 2.5ha and 10ha in area

Not applicable

  • £1,200
  • 4 site visits
  • £1,800
  • 5 site visits


Development is between 10ha and 20ha

Not applicable

  • £1,800
  • 5 site visits
  • £2,700
  • 7 site visits
6 Development is over 20ha and/or a major infrastructure project, a significant linear project (pipeline, road, or cable route) or quarry

Email or call 01284 741230 to discuss your scheme and obtain a quote.  

Our policy of charging developers and their agents, consultants and contractors to consult the Historic Environment Record (HER) is for commercial purposes or to reproduce digital data derived from the HER.

Historic Environment Record data request form must be completed before a search will be undertaken.

The standard response time for a:

  • standard search is 10 working days
  • priority search is 5 working days for double the standard fee

What's included in the charge

A HER search comprises reports on requested HER datasets provided by email in PDF format, as well as exported HER mapping in GIS or PDF format. Reproduction rights for HER mapping are included in the search fee. HER charges cover the staff time to service an enquiry and include time taken to extract the relevant datasets and prepare reports, mapping and data.



  • the data is provided on a site by site basis. This can be a specific development site(s) or a generalised discrete area(s)
  • the charges exclude VAT at 20% 
  • An administration charge of £30 will be added if HER data request forms are submitted with incorrect information for invoicing purposes, requiring replacement invoices to be issued.
Historic Environment Record searches

Description of work


Standard search

  • Up to a 2km radius
  • 10 working days

Commercial visit to HER

  • Includes 1 hour of staff time

Priority Search

  • Up to a 2km radius
  • 5 working days

Bespoke search 

Searches greater than a 2km radius, neighbourhood plans or for a major infrastructure project, a significant linear project (pipeline, road, or cable route) quarry or within a historic urban core

Email or call 01284 741230 to discuss your scheme and obtain a quote.

Request PDF maps

£70 to cover staff time

HER searches for educational enquiries or community-led projects


HER searches for funded research projects

Email or call 01284 741230 to discuss your scheme and obtain a quote.

Find out more about Historic Environment Record (HER).

The charges:

  • include the administration costs associated with deposition and as a contribution towards long term storage
  • exclude VAT at 20%
Archaeological Archive Storage

Date excavation phase started

Price per box (up to 450 boxes) exc. VAT

Before 1 January 2010

By negotiation

1 January 2010 to 31 December 2014


1 January 2015 to 31 December 2017


1 January 2018 to 31 March 2022


After 1 April 2022


Additional boxes outside of 5% buffer


Quotes and tailored deposition timetables (for backlogs and infrastructure projects with more than 450 boxes) can be issued a required to depositors and last one year from the date of issue. After this time the quote becomes invalid and the box fee will default to the fee advertised at time of deposition.

Any additional work needed to be carried out by Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service staff to ensure the archive meets depositional and conservation standards will be charged, after discussion, to the depositing organisation.

Find out more about archaeological archives service.

Data Protection and GDPR

Find the Suffolk County Council data protection statement here.