Managing Archaeology in the Planning Process



Our Heritage Risk Assessments (HRA) is a low cost, fixed price, rapid response report for project screening.

About us

Crow Archaeology brings industry leading experience to the needs of your development project, with a focus on personal engagement. We specialise in dealing with all aspects of archaeology for developers and planners through the planning process. We can assist with the evolution of development plans over time and respond rapidly to emerging issues.

The company is owned and managed by Dr Rachael Townend. She is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Archaeologists (CIfA) and has over 20 years of experience in archaeology including academia, fieldwork and consultancy.

Dr Rachael Townend MCIfA

07796 172270

Her clients have been developers of urban and rural building refurbishments, commercial and domestic new-builds, power plants, airports, estate disposals, Sustainable Urban Extensions (SUEs), agri-businesses, national infrastructure and other consultancies with limited archaeological capability.

Key Services:

  • Archaeological condition discharge
  • Planning advice
  • Archaeological Fieldwork
  • Heritage Consultancy

Key Deliverables:

  • Archaeological Desk Based Assessment (DBA)
  • Written Scheme of Investigation (WSI)
  • Archaeological Fieldwork Reports
  • Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC)
  • Statement of Common Ground (SCG)
  • Environmental Statement (ES) Chapter

West Midlands Base, UK-Wide Coverage

Located in the historic market town of Shrewsbury, Crow Archaeology is ideally located to offer our services nationwide.

Operating Nationally

Give us a call or send us a message

07796 172270


Archaeological conditions on planning applications at both outline or full application stage are commonplace. It may be, however, that you, as a developer, have not been subject to such a condition previously.

To satisfy such conditions local authorities will usually require certain documents and/or on-site measures in advance of development.

We are expert in the production of these documents and agreeing the appropriate measures with the local authority archaeological advisor.

Documents commonly required in the planning process in connection with archaeology are:

  • Archaeological Desk Based Assessment (DBA)
  • Written Scheme of Investigation (WSI)
  • Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC)
  • Environmental Statement (ES) Chapter

Under certain circumstances a breach of an archaeological planning condition may be identified by the local authority. We are expert in working with both client and local authority to resolve any identified issues.


Archaeology is a material consideration in the planning process in England, Scotland and Wales. This is governed by a range of legislation, local planning policy and statutory and non-statutory guidance that is specific to the regions. In this process there are a range of potential statutory and non-statutory consultees who may have a stake in a given development scheme.

We are expert in archaeology as a planning issue and can provide advice on the implications for any proposed development on the potential effects to archaeological remains and the process by which these may be mitigated.


Archaeological fieldwork in some form is often required as an element of planning condition discharge. Common forms of archaeological works in this context are:

  • Geophysical Survey
  • ‘Watching brief’ (sometimes called Archaeological Monitoring)
  • Trial (or Evaluation) trenching
  • Strip, Map and Sample (SMS) exacations
  • Open area excavation

We are expert the procurement and management of archaeological fieldwork ensuring quality control and compliance in relation to planning conditions, construction management regulations and health and safety requirements.


Archaeological remains, together with listed buildings, scheduled monuments, World Heritage Sites and other elements of the ‘Historic Environment’ are afforded various degrees of protection under UK and international heritage law.

As the Historic Environment is ever present and all around us, change in that environment, whatever form it takes, requires management for the benefit of the country’s heritage, its landscapes, cityscapes and people.

We are expert in engaging with statutory and non-statutory consultees in the resolution of issues arising from development proposals that may affect the Historic Environment.

Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC), Statements of Common Ground (SCG), Environmental Statement (ES) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) contributions are important elements in our core competencies.


Our Heritage Risk Assessments (HRA) has been devised as a low cost, fixed price, rapid response report aimed at clients looking to evaluate the risks associated with their project or property portfolios at this time of heightened vulnerability.

These HRAs are not designed to replace Desk-Based Assessments or Heritage Statements and are not suitable for submission as planning documents. They are intended as a tool for internal use only.

It is our hope that these High Level Risk Assessments may be of assistance in the decision making process around which projects to take forward in the future.

What's available?

We offer 2 different risk assessments designed to meet your needs.

Core Assessment 
  • £250 +VAT*
  • Based on Designated Heritage Assets
  • Tabulated report
  • Accompanying mapped data figure
  • Typically completed in less than 1 week
Enhanced Assessment 
  • £250 +VAT and 3rd Party HER fees*
  • Based on Designated and Non-Designated Heritage Assets
  • Tabulated report
  • Accompanying mapped data figure
  • Typically ready in 4-10 day dependent on HER response times

* VAT will be charged at prevailing rate.


Who are the stylesheets for?

To support our professional and volunteer communities we have developed a set of Stylesheets (QML) for QGIS which define display symbology and labelling characteristics for Historic England's Designated Heritage Asset GIS data.

Specifically, they are aimed at small companies, heritage organisations, self-employed contractors, third-sector organisations and voluntary groups.

Contact Us

Speak to us:

Alternatively, fill out our contact form and we will get back to you.


Dr Rachael Townend

West Midlands and Wales Office

Crow Archaeology
5 Glanwr
SY22 6PB

Contact Us

Company No. 12264247