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Ancient monuments

How is a scheduled monument protected?

Protection is provided in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, with planning policy guidance provided in the government's National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Policy ENV 23 of our Unitary Development Plan also offers some local planning guidance on archaeological sites or remains.

Damage to scheduled monuments is a criminal offence and any works affecting one require Scheduled Monument Consent from the Secretary of State. Development close to a scheduled monument which might damage its setting is also material consideration in the planning system and may require consent. Where a monument is both scheduled and listed, provisions for scheduled monuments take precedent.

Protection can also be given by another process, additional to or separate from scheduling, taking the monument into state ownership or placing it under guardianship, the latter meaning that the owner retains possession, while the appropriate national heritage body maintains it and (usually) opens it to the public.