relevant legislation and guidance


It is important that you know the current legislation in the UK. The following links will take you to the most important documents that we are aware of. BAJR cannot take responsibility for the contents of the following documents, but if you find a broken link or have additional documents you feel would be useful we would appreciate an email - info @ bajr . org

  • Historic Scotland
  • Historic Environment (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2011
  • Planning Advice Note PAN 42 (or pdf version)
  • Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997
  • Planning etc. (Scotland) Act 2006
  • Rural Stewardship Scheme (section 5)
  • Scottish Planning Policy SPP
  • Scottish Historic Environment Policy (SHEP)
  • PAN 58 - Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Scotland's Listed Buildings A Guide for Owners and Occupiers
  • Historic Scotland Free Publications Online
  • Treasure Trove Panel Scotland
  • General Finds Reporting Form or Archaeological Assemblages
  • Marine (Scotland) Act 2010
  • English Heritage
  • National Heritage Act 2002
  • Guidelines on The Treatment of Christian Burials in Archaeological Projects
  • Conservation principles, policies and guidance for the sustainable management of the historic environment
  • Valletta Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage
  • Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990
  • Planning Policy Statement 5
  • Planning Policy Statement 5 Guidance for use
  • Managing local authority heritage assets
  • Building Regulations and Historic Buildings - energy efficiency
  • English Heritage Free Publications Online
  • Treasure Act 1996 Code of Practice (Revised) England and Wales
  • Planning for Archaeology and the Historic Environment
  • Environmental Stewardship (main site)
  • Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009
  • CADW
  • 'Planning Policy Wales' (March 2002)
  • Complete List of Technical Advice Notes
  • Maritime and Intertidal Archaeology
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment: Consultation Bodies' Services and Standards for Responsible Authorities in Wales
  • Welsh Office Circular 1/98
  • Welsh Office Circular 60/96
  • Welsh Office Circular 61/96
  • Review of the System of Ecclesiastical Exemption in Wales
  • Environment and Heritage Service
  • Planning Policy Statement 6: Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage
  • Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects
  • Licenced Archaeologist : Application to Excavate
  • Article 42 of the Planning (NI) Order 1991

  • Institute of Field Archaeologists - Direct links to pdf documents

  • Code of conduct
  • Code of approved practice for the regulation of contractual arrangements in field archaeology
  • Disciplinary code
  • Regulations for the Registration of Archaeological Organisations
  • Introduction to Standards and Guidance
  • Standard and Guidance for desk-based assessment
  • Standard and Guidance for field evaluation
  • Standard and Guidance for Excavation
  • Standard and Guidance for an archaeological watching brief
  • Standard and Guidance for the archaeological investigation and recording of standing buildings or structures
  • Standard and Guidance for the collection, documentation, conservation and research of archaeological materials
  • Appendices to Standards
  • Policy Statements document

  • Scotland

    Historic Scotland safeguards the nation's built heritage and promotes its understanding and enjoyment on behalf of Scottish Ministers. They are the National Origination for Scotland.

    This document provides advice on good practice and other relevant information concerning the planning process and heritage. This is used by the Local Authority Archaeologist and Planning Officers

     The Act amends
    • the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953
    • the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 and
    • the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997


    This document from the HMSO provides the legislation concerning Listed Buildings in Scotland - your duty and restrictions on development and alteration.

    Planning etc (Scotland) Act 2006 makes some alterations to the 1997 Town & Country Planning Act & Planning (Listed Buidlings & Conservation Areas) Act

    This Scottish Planning Policy ( SPP) supersedes and consolidates National Planning Policy Guidelines

    The Rural Stewardship Scheme (RSS) is an Agri-environment Scheme designed to encourage farmers, crofters and Common Grazings Committees to adopt environmentally friendly practices and to maintain and enhance particular habitats and landscape features. - Section 5 deals with archaeological advice and management of heritage resources on your farmland.

    The Scottish Historic Environment Policy sets out Scottish Ministers’ policies, providing direction for Historic Scotland and a policy framework that informs the work of a wide range of public sector organisations.

    The SHEP has benefited from public consultation during the development of policy

    Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process which identifies the environmental and Heritage effects (both negative and positive) of development proposals. It aims to prevent, reduce and offset any adverse impacts. It is part of the process to have an archaeological report produced to advise on heritage matters.

    This booklet gives an informal account of the legislation, principally contained in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997, which protects Scotland’s historic buildings and describes how it is generally administered by Historic Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Ministers and by the planning authorities. It explains how buildings of “special architectural or historic interest” are selected for listing and outlines the system of control which ensures proper scrutiny of all applications to demolish, alter or extend listed buildings, internally or externally, or to demolish any buildings in conservation areas. The aim is to protect the character of the heritage and to guard against unnecessary loss or damage.

    An extensive catalogue of publications, ranging from Technical papers, Advice, Grants and Policy.

    Scots common law is quod nullius est fit domini regis (that which belongs to nobody becomes our Lord the King’s [or Queen’s]). So ALL objects Who's original owner or rightful heir cannot be identified or traced are the property of the Crown. It does not matter whether objects were lost or intentionally hidden, or whether it is a gold bracelet or stone axe.

    Users of metal detectors in Scotland should be aware that all finds they make are subject to claim by the Crown and should be reported for assessment to the Scottish Advisory Finds Allocation Panel (SAFAP) - Under section 42 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act (1979) it is a criminal offence to use a detector on a scheduled ancient monument. This is also true of ALL Archaeological sites, where finds must be reported along with 2 copies of a Data Structure Report.

    The Marine (Scotland) Act has now been passed (February 2010) and contains such things as Historic Marine Protected Areas. At the same time the Act supercedes part 1 of the Protection of Wrecks Act (the section about wrecks of historic significance).


    England & Wales

    English Heritage works in partnership with the central government departments, local authorities, voluntary bodies and the private sector to conserve and enhance the historic environment, broaden public access to the heritage and increase people's understanding of the past - they are the National Organisation for England

    Cadw is the historic environment agency within the Welsh Assembly Government with responsibility for protecting, conserving, and promoting an appreciation of the historic environment of Wales. (CADW means Keep in Welsh)

    An Act to make further provision in relation to the functions of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England; and for connected purposes. Section 3 extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    The document aims to provide reasonably comprehensive guidelines covering the treatment of human remains and associated artifacts and grave markers at all phases of an archaeological fieldwork project, including decisions concerning whether remains should be retained long-term for scientific study or reburied following completion of the analysis phase of the fieldwork project.

    The Valletta Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage was promulgated at Valletta in Malta in 1992. It was ratified by the UK Government on 21 September 2000 and came into force on 21 March 2001. It contains provisions for the identification and protection of archaeological heritage, its integrated conservation, the control of excavations, the use of metal detectors and the prevention of illicit circulation of archaeological objects, as well as for dissemination of information.
    (This link leads you to the CBA portal, where further links and expanatory text are available)

    Value-based approach to the management of the historic environment, taking account of the diverse ways in which people value the historic environment as part of their cultural and natural heritage.

    Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom that altered the laws on granting of planning permission for building works, notably including those of the listed building system in England and Wales.

    Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment (PPS5) sets out the Government's planning policies on the conservation of the historic environment.

    PPS5 is supported by a Practice Guide,with further information on how to apply the policies in the PPS.

    About 17% of grade I and II* listed buildings at risk of loss from neglect and decay are in the ownership of central or local government’
    English Heritage Register of Buildings at Risk, 2002 - Understand the responsibility of Local Government.

    New legislation makes it clear that the special characteristics of a historic building must be recognised.The aim of this revised part of the Building Regulations is to improve energy efficiency where practically possible, provided that this does not harm the character of the building or increase the risk of long-term deterioration to fabric or fittings.

    English Heritage produces a wide variety of free publications with subjects ranging from repair, conservation and management of the historic environment to grants, funding and more general information on aspects of English Heritage's work.(over 1100 publications are available in a searchable database)

    All finders of gold and silver objects, and groups of coins from the same finds, over 300 years old, have a legal obligation to report such items under the Treasure Act 1996. Now prehistoric base-metal assemblages found after 1st January 2003 also qualify as Treasure. The PAS site (this link) has explanations and links to the following:

    Summary of the Treasure Act
    Full version of the Treasure Act Code of Practice (revised) PDF 652KB
    Treasure Act leaflet

    Factsheets written to provide information about the planning system in England with the goal of helping local groups and individuals interested in conservation of their local archaeological and historic heritage understand and become more involved in planning in their area.

  • Planning Factsheet 1 - Getting Involved in Planning for Archaeology and the Historic Environment
  • Planning Factsheet 2 - The UK's International Obligations and Commitments for the Historic Environment
  • Planning Factsheet 3 - National Planning Policy for Archaeology and the Historic Environment
  • Planning Factsheet 4 - Regional Planning Guidance and the Historic Environment
  • Planning Factsheet 5 - Development Plans, Archaeology and the Historic Environment
  • Planning Factsheet 6 - Local Plan Policies and the Historic Environment
  • Planning Factsheet 7 - Minerals and Waste Local Plans and the Historic Environment
  • Planning Factsheet 8 - Historic Characterisation, Planning and Regeneration
  • Planning Factsheet 9 - Development Briefs and the Historic Environment
  • Planning Factsheet 10 - Further Advice and Guidance

  • Environmental Stewardship is a new agri-environment scheme which provides funding to farmers and other land managers in England who deliver effective environmental management on their land. Its primary objectives are to:

    Conserve wildlife (biodiversity)
    Maintain and enhance landscape quality and character
    Protect the historic environment and natural resources
    Promote public access and understanding of the countryside
    Natural resource protection

    The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 will ensure clean healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas, by putting in place better systems for delivering sustainable development of marine and coastal environment.


    The importance of the maritime and intertidal archaeology of Wales is emphasised and the existing methods of protection described. Management of maritime archaeology has particular problems and historically has suffered from lack of resources in terms of suitably qualified practitioners and appropriate financial support. Suggestions are made for further study and proposals made for strengthening current weaknesses in the management of the maritime heritage.

    This note describes the services and standards which Responsible Authorities in Wales can expect from the Welsh Consultation Bodies (Cadw, Countryside Council for Wales and the Environment Agency), when consulting in relation to the European Directive 2001/42/EC on 'the assessment of certain plans and programmes on the environment' (the 'SEA' Directive).

    Planning and the historic environment: directions by the Secretary of State for Wales

    Planning and the Historic Environment - Archaeology
    This pdf document is large and may be slow to download.

    Planning and the Historic Environment: Historic Buildings and Conservation Areas
    The English version of this document is not available to download. CADW can email it to you on request.

    The report notes that there are different arrangements and procedures in Wales in operating the ecclesiastical exemption, together with different practice in the secular system. It concludes that it would appear advisable for the exemption to remain for the immediate future.

    Current land use planning policy is contained in 'Planning Policy Wales' (March 2002) which provides the strategic policy framework for the effective preparation of local planning authorities' development plans. This is supplemented by 20 topic based Technical Advice Notes (Wales) (TANs). Procedural guidance is given in Welsh Office / National Assembly for Wales circulars. 'Planning Policy Wales', the TANs and the circulars, may be material to decisions on individual planning applications and will be taken into account by the National Assembly for Wales and Planning Inspectors in the determination of called-in planning applications and appeals.

    20 topic based Technical Advice Notes (Wales) (TANs).

    Northern Ireland

    Information on archaeological sites, historic monuments and buildings, industrial remains, designed historic landscapes and features of the shores and sea-bed. You can view information from the Historic Monuments Database and the Historic Buildings Database and find out about the Monuments and Buildings record.

    Planning Policy Statement setting out the Department of Enviroments policy on the protection and conservation of archaeological remains and built heritage.

    Historic Monuments have been protected by legislation since 1869. The current legislation is the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (NI) Order 1995 - this is a link to the whole document.

    To work in NI as a Site Director Project Manager you must be Licenced. This form allows you to apply for a licence to excavate - the more you work in NI the licence is easier to get. (every site must be licenced)

    Article 42 of the Planning (NI) Order 1991 places a duty on the Department of the Environment (DoE) to compile lists of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. This function along with others associated with historic buildings is carried out by the Department's Environment and Heritage Service (EHS).