Client sectors

Commercial Archaeology specialises in providing clients with tailor-made solutions to any of the heritage or archaeological requirements they face within a planning-led environment.

Commercial Archaeology posesses extensive experience of formulating strategies which dovetail heritage and archaeological requirements into both the planning and construction processes.


Transport schemes whether road building, rail infrastructure, airport runways or terminals, city tramways or new road junctions (the list goes on) can be affected by the presence of below-ground archaeological remains and/or the presence of above-ground statutorily protected heritage assets such as listed buildings or scheduled monuments.  

In particular, linear developments bring their own set of unique problems because the longer the scheme the greater the risk from the presence of archaeological remains or heritage assets at points along the corridor and the more challenging they are to deal with operationally.

Commercial Archaeology has extensive experience of planning and managing the archaeological and heritage issues on such schemes and is accustomed to working with the multi-disciplinary teams which are associated with developments of this kind.

A strategic overview of projects of this nature is undertaken, giving a focus on minimising risk where it exists and dovetailing archaeological and heritage requirements in with the work of Principal Contractors and other disciplines.  Commercial Archaeology is fully conversant with health and safety and CDM regulations.

From advice on how to deal with historic listed bridges through to assessment of, and advice on, options for alternative routes to avoid archaeologically sensitive areas, Commercial Archaeology can help clients make informed and meaningful decisions.

House building, commercial, retail and mixed use development

Housing schemes, commercial/retail developments and mixed-use development of all sizes whether a small-scale scheme to build a supermarket next to a Conservation Area or a mixed-use development covering hectares of open land are likely to have heritage and/or archaeological requirements attached to them either at planning application stage or at post-consent stage when a planning condition or legal obligation has to be discharged.

From any developer’s perspective the most crucial factors in their scheme are to keep construction on track, costs minimised and delays kept firmly at bay. 

The presence of archaeological remains, both below and above ground, have the potential to throw any carefully constructed planning and construction programmes well off track unless they are dealt with proactively and in a co-ordinated manner.

Through dealing with many such schemes, Commercial Archaeology has gained the expertise to guide clients through both the planning and subsequent construction phases of small through to major development projects. From early on negotiations with Local Planning Authorities to establish a reasonable and proportionate scope of work through to regular liaison with Principal Contractors, clients and design teams to ensure a holistic approach to archaeological work which precludes delays and ensures that archaeology works in tandem with all other disciplines involved with the scheme.


Being able to manage the unique set of problems which can arise from the presence of archaeological remains on pipeline and cable schemes, especially when long routes are involved, is crucial to the success of any scheme. 

Not only might the route be affected by the presence of buried archaeological remains of unknown significance but also by the presence of above-ground remains such as scheduled monuments, listed buildings and other designated heritage assets.  

Early-on assessment of linear schemes, along with any associated infrastructure, is essential in order to highlight potential archaeological and/or heritage issues.  

Commercial Archaeology has a great deal of experience in dealing with schemes of this nature and can offer advice not only on assessment of routes, but also on opportunities for utility companies to consider re-direction of routes to avoid potentially expensive and time consuming archaeological investigation.

In addition, Commercial Archaeology is accustomed to dealing with issues which arise from land ownership when the proposed scheme affects a number of landowners and tenants. 

Liaison services are provided between landowners, tenants, contractors and clients to ensure that all works along the route run smoothly.

Commercial Archaeology is fully conversant with individual agricultural regimes and has the ability to programme in surveys and investigations around sowing and harvesting systems.

This helps to avoid crop damage and subsequent compensation payments.

Aggregates and mineral extraction

Aggregates and mineral extraction companies have a close relationship with archaeology given that proposed extraction sites have high potential for the presence of archaeological remains.

Sand and gravel quarries, for example, are often rich in prehistoric settlement activity and modern mines in mineral rich areas of the country often contain evidence of mining activity from early history through to the 19th century.  

Commercial Archaeology is able to provide aggregate and mineral extraction companies with advice and guidance on how best to approach and deal with the presence of archaeological remains within extraction and mining areas.

Commercial Archaeology is fully conversant with the day-to-day operational activities of quarries and mines and is therefore able to use this knowledge to the benefit of its clients in providing them with tailor made solutions which minimise the impact of archaeological remains or heritage assets on their day to day working regimes.

Renewable energy

The construction of renewable energy infrastructure like any other form of development can have an impact on below-ground archaeological remains or on above-ground heritage assets such as listed buildings and scheduled monuments.  

In the case of the latter, the impact may not necessarily be physical but could amount to impacts on the setting of the heritage asset from the presence of the new scheme, in particular in the case of wind turbines where the zones of visibility can be considerable.

Commercial Archaeology can provide clients with a package of services, including early-on advice, predictive modelling, ground-truthing and risk assessment which can help clients in renewable energy make meaningful and informed decisions on how they proceed with a scheme.  

Ultimately, whether the scheme is intended to harness the power of wind, sun or water, there is the potential for constraints to the scheme from the presence of buried archaeological remains (involving terrestrial, foreshore and riverine/marine areas) or from standing structures and buildings of heritage importance.  

Urban regeneration and brownfield development

Urban regeneration and brownfield development bring their own particular set of challenges from the perspective of archaeology and the historic built environment. 

Not only do brownfield developments, which by their very nature are sites which have been previously developed (in some cases from as early as the medieval period onwards) contain the potential for buried archaeological remains but they often contain extant former industrial buildings which can be considered of heritage value.

Similarly, in regeneration schemes the re-use and refurbishment of buildings which at first glance appear to be of low heritage value can result in the unexpected discovery of much earlier phases of building encased within the fabric of the current building.

Commercial Archaeology has extensive experience of managing both the archaeological and built heritage aspects of such schemes. Sound advice can be provided to clients engaged in schemes of this nature along with guidance on how best to deal with the challenges of getting active construction and site clearance activities to work in tandem with archaeological investigations in order to avoid delays to overall development programmes. 

A suite of services can be provided which allow early identification of potential archaeological constraints and which can also highlight the presence of buildings of possible heritage value.