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  5. Access to the Historic Environment Record (HER) and charging for the provision of archaeological advice

Access to the Historic Environment Record (HER) and charging for the provision of archaeological advice


The HER is available during normal office hours (9.00 to 12.00 and 14.00 to 17.00, Monday to Thursday and 9.00 to 12.00 and 14.00 to 16.00, Friday). Access may be restricted for temporary periods to enable maintenance and enhancement to take place.

Access to the HER is by prior appointment only. Enquirers are requested to book visits at least 7 days in advance and should be aware that it will not always be possible to arrange visits at short notice. Straightforward written enquiries will normally be processed within 14 days of receipt, but more complex enquiries may take longer.

All HER users must supply the information set out in the HER Users Declaration Form in writing or by email prior to obtaining access to HER data.

Access may be denied where there is reasonable cause to believe that supplying the information would endanger the archaeological heritage or where there has been a previous failure to comply with these guidelines. Confidential information will not be disclosed.

Users must abide by all copyright restrictions pertaining to data held in the HER. Information supplied shall be used by the user and for the purposes specified on the HER Users Declaration Form. Written consent must be obtained for any other use of the data and for its dissemination to a third party. East Sussex County Council reserves all rights of copyright which are owned in the material provided and such copyright must be acknowledged by the user.


Charges are made for both personal visits to the HER and the provision of information by post or e-mail. The charging policy distinguishes between development-related commercial consultations and other consultations and also between the straightforward provision of information and related specialist interpretation and advice. Charges are made for staff time, related overheads and for copying. We do not charge, however, for pre-application advice given in our role as specialist archaeological advisors to local planning authorities.

Note that East Sussex County Council does not offer a consultancy service to developers (such services are provided by private sector archaeological consultants).

HER Consultation Fees

Commercial Consultations

From 01 April 2023 a full HER search will be charged at a minimum charge of £152.25. These searches will be returned within ten to fifteen working days. Particularly complex searches that would take more than an hour will be discussed with the applicant and a bespoke quote provided.

Priority full HER searches may be available. If this service is available, it will be indicated as part of the application process and the price and turn around period for this will be clearly marked.

From 01 April 2023 an HER Consultation report prior to Local Authority planning application validation will be charged at a minimum charge of £103.95. These searches will be returned within ten to fifteen working days.

For office appointments, a charge for staff time may be made in cases of late cancellation (less than 24 hour’s notice) or failure to cancel a pre-arranged appointment.

Non-commercial Consultations

For non-commercial enquiries the first hour of staff time is free. Thereafter a discretionary charging may apply. Charges will normally be waived altogether where there is a clear benefit in terms of protection, enhancement or awareness raising of our historic environment. Charges will also be waived for students, children, retired persons, unemployed persons and other genuine concessionary cases.

Additional Costs

The preferred method for providing data is electronically, either by email or Compact Disc (CD). Where paper reports are required charges may be levied at the standard photocopying charge (see below). The HER report will be converted from the Historic Buildings Sites and Monuments Records (HBSMR) software into either a portable document format (PDF) document or Microsoft (MS) Excel document. Other formats may be possible but this would incur additional costs. The HER uses ArcView 10 for it’s Geographic Information System (GIS) and shapefiles can be provided with the understanding that they may be used for the project specified only. GIS data can only be provided electronically.

  • Black and white photocopying, up to Automatic Three Speed (A3) 10p per sheet
  • Read Only CD £5.00 per CD

All costs are inclusive of postage