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Specialist advice

7 February 2018

The Historic Environment team provides specialist advice on a range of subjects to district and borough councils, landowners, developers, agents and the public on the impact of specific planning proposals on listed buildings, within conservation areas and at archaeological sites.



Essex County Council’s Historic Environment team is responsible for giving specialist advice to ensure that the county’s heritage is conserved and, where this is not possible, to ensure that an appropriate level of investigation is carried out before development takes place. Advice is given by development control officers, archaeologists who check all planning applications across the county for their archaeological implications.
The advice given to district and borough councils is given within the framework of Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning and the Historic Environment, which can be downloaded from the website.
Development Control Officers at Essex County Council are responsible for different districts.
Basildon, Uttlesford and Thurrock – 01245 437632
Brentwood, Castle Point, Harlow, Epping and Rochford – 01245 437638
Braintree and Chelmsford – 01245 437638
Maldon – 01245 437641
Tendring – 01245 437 293
Colchester – 01206 282932
The archaeological service in Colchester is provided by Colchester Borough Council. However, Essex County Council is responsible for waste sites, minerals sites and schools in Colchester, and for issues relating to these sites, Adrian Gascoyne should be contacted. 

Listed buildings

Specialist advice on listed buildings is provided to district and borough councils, owners, developers, consultants and the public. General advice on listed buildings can be found in the leaflet guidance notes for owners of listed buildings.
For further information about listed buildings, and details of the contacts for individual districts, see the listed buildings page.

Church advice

Church buildings in use are exempt from listed building legislation on condition that the religious organisation responsible for them has a system of their own in place. Essex County Council gives advice to the Church of England, which owns the great majority of listed churches in the county, through the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) for the Care of Churches. In addition to the 400 churches within the Diocese of Chelmsford that are within Essex county borders, there are also 40-50 listed nonconformist chapels and Catholic churches: most of these also belong to exempt denominations which have their own system for controlling and monitoring works to them.
As well as the Church Heritage in Essex leaflet, an advisory booklet, The Changing Church, is available. The Changing Church deals with the problem of providing extra and new facilities in churches, including the associated archaeological issues.
Specialist advice on the archaeological implications of development is given to the DAC, to architects, Parochial Church Councils, the public and local authority planning departments.
For further information, contact the Historic Environment team.

Site management

The Essex countryside contains a wealth of archaeological remains, landscape features and wildlife habitats. Many of these features are fragile and easily destroyed by modern development. Careful management is essential to ensure that this heritage survives. Essex County Council works with farmers, landowners and local communities to protect historic features and remains.
Essex County Council’s Countryside Archaeological Advisor, Adrian Gascoyne, can provide information about heritage conservation on private land and in specific parishes. The Countryside Archaeological Advisor works with organisations such as the Farming Wildlife Advisory Group, English Heritage and Defra to assist rural stakeholders in managing sites in a sensitive way that will help to conserve the character of the countryside and protect landscape features and archaeological remains.
A range of information and advice leaflets are available to download, dealing with specific aspects of site management and feature conservation. 

Funding and further advice

Defra’s agricultural environment schemes can offer payments to farmers for protecting archaeological sites and repairing traditional farm buildings. English Heritage management grants may also be available for the owners of scheduled monuments. For more information and contact details, see the contacts page