Archaeology service charges

Find information on the services available from the archaeological team and their related charges.

What do we do?

Suffolk County Council Archaeology Service carries out archaeological requirements and obligations on behalf of all the planning authorities in Suffolk.

Planning-led archaeological advice and regulation have been carried out by the County Council on behalf of all eight planning authorities since the issue of Planning Policy Guidance notes 15 and 16 in 1990.

The nine planning authorities are:

  • Babergh District Council
  • Forest Heath District Council
  • Ipswich Borough Council
  • Mid Suffolk District Council
  • St Edmundsbury Borough Council
  • Suffolk Coastal District Council
  • Suffolk County Council
  • Waveney District Council
  • Broads Authority

The core elements of PPG 15 and 16 remain the same in the National Planning Policy Framework 2012.

Why have we introduced charges?

We need to introduce charging to ensure that we have the resources to allow the continued provision of service. Local Planning Authorities do not currently make any contribution to the costs of archaeological advice for the consultation process in relation to planning applications.

The Local Government Act 2003 and the Localism Act 2011 give 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.

When were charges introduced?

Charges were introduced on 1 March 2014 and updated in April 2019.

Do charges always apply?

Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service does not charge for initial pre-application advice. However, developers their agents and archaeological organisations acting on behalf of developers are required to pay for the team’s advice during the planning process. The charges also apply to any developments which fall outside local planning authority decision making such as utility pipelines, cables and national infrastructure projects.

For desk-based assessments, palaeoenvironmental assessments and geophysical survey, where no site monitoring visit is required, no charges will be raised unless further work stages of archaeological work are required.

There are no charges for most community projects.

What are the different charges?

We base our rates on an assessment of direct and indirect staff costs within Suffolk County Council. The charges are reviewed annually.

There is a flat fee with add-on charges for specific points of contact and specific stages in the archaeological planning process.

Charging is based on standard or routine involvement in projects, by type and size, and an estimated number of visits allocated that will cover the majority of cases.  If further work is required due to unforeseen site circumstances, additional charges will be calculated on a pro rata basis.

How do I pay?

You will be required to complete a simple pro forma application to initiate the work, and we will raise an invoice which will be sent to you along with your brief. The charge will be invoiced based on the details submitted on the request form; therefore archaeological contractors and agents must ensure their client is aware of the charges.

In most cases, it will not be possible to complete the payment transaction in advance as archaeological briefs are often required at short notice.

However, payment must have been made before each stage of archaeological investigation has been completed. Failure to pay will result in the delay of approval of the stage of archaeological work.

What about charges for work already in progress?

Charges are applied to all new casework and for new stages of on-going archaeological investigations.

For example, charges will not apply to the evaluation stage of a project where the Written Scheme is already agreed unless the brief and WSI are out of date and need revising. Charges will, however, be applied for  the preparation of a brief if a further phase of archaeological investigation is required.

Where can I find the charging schedule and application forms?

Download the Charging Schedule. Please be aware that charges have been updated as of April 2019.  

Request an archaeological brief and specification.

HER Charges

Please note that there are also charges in place for the use of the Suffolk Historic Environment Record for commercial work.  

Archive Charges

A box charge also applies for the deposition of archaeological archives in the SCC county Archive store.