1 Information the record contains
Important note: The County Council is changing its geographical information system (GIS) over the next few weeks. This may affect the Historic Environment Record and our ability to undertake a search within our normal timescales. It may not be possible to undertake a priority search at all during this time.
Please continue to fill out the HER enquiry form as normal. Should there be a problem with delivery, we will contact you before undertaking your search.
West Sussex Historic Environment Record (HER) is a set of data linked to a geographical information system (GIS). It can be used to assist in the analysis of the landscape and, when combined with the Historic Landscape Characterisation, looks at the archaeological evidence as well as historic use to determine how the landscape has changed.
The HER contains a summary of known historic assets in West Sussex. Using GIS, the record can be viewed with additional layers of information, such as conservation areas and historic town characterisation. It also holds a number of electronic reports of archaeological investigations, usually carried out as part of the planning process, a summary of which is recorded in the HER.
The record covers the whole of West Sussex but Chichester District Council maintain their own separate HER.
2 What a search can include
A Historic Environment Record (HER) search can include:
- archaeological sites and finds
- historic buildings that are not listed
- designation sites (scheduled monuments, listed buildings, registered parks and gardens and protected wrecks)
- English Heritage derived Roman road routes
- conservation areas
- Historic Town Characterisation
- historic parkscapes
- Sussex Historic Landscape Characterisation.
The following GIS layers can also be searched:
- Aerial photographs (1947, 1991, 1997, 2001, 2007 and 2012).
- Historic mapping (Ordnance Survey drawings, tithe maps, 1st-4th edition Ordnance Survey maps) - these may not cover the whole of the modern West Sussex County boundary.
- Modern mapping.
Examples of a HER report and map
3 Request a HER search
COVID-19 status update: The West Sussex HER remains open for search enquiries and data provision. Although our staff are working from home and things may be a little slower than normal, we have full HER access, and can provide information in PDF and GIS formats.
Historic Environment Record (HER) searches are primarily requested in order to understand the location and extent of known heritage assets, as well as assess the potential for archaeology, within West Sussex.
We offer three types of HER search:
1. Full HER enquiry
A Full HER search is requested, often by archaeological contractors or consultants. They use the raw data to understand the known heritage assets and assess the archaeological potential, within a given area, in relation to a development.
The results usually form part of an archaeological desk-based assessment (National Planning Policy Framework 128).
A full HER search can be undertaken before or after the submission of a planning application.
If this is the search you require, then please select either option 1 or 2 in the enquiry details section of the form below.
This is a chargeable service and offers a priority search option.
2. Householder application enquiry
A householder search is usually for smaller scale planning applications, but not necessarily associated to a single dwelling. For this option we offer a consultation report. This sets out summary information about the location and extent of known heritage assets (designated and undesignated) within a 250 metre radius of the application site.
The enquiry option also allows the person requesting the report to add information about past and future impacts at the site in a separate document sent with the consultation report. The consultation report can be submitted to your local planning authority as part of your planning application.
If this is the search you require please select 'Householder application enquiry' (option 3) in the enquiry details section of the form below.
Before you apply, please make sure you have the following information to hand:
- Application site details
- Site information, including a location plan.
This is a chargeable service but cannot be requested as a priority search option.
Geographical Information System (GIS) shapefiles will not be included as part of a householder HER consultation report. Should you require shapefiles, please select a full HER search.
3. Research/personal interest enquiry
This enquiry option is for researchers and for those who have a personal or general interest request. The information cannot be used as evidence for planning/planning application purposes.
If this is the search you require, please select 'Research or personal interest enquiry' (option 4) in the enquiry details section of the form below.
This is not a chargeable service and does not have a priority search option.
To find out how we collect and use your personal information, please read our privacy notice for the Historic Environment Record.
Before submitting the HER enquiry form, please read the HER guidance for users and the charging policy below, which explains the levels of charges and additional charges.Historic Environment Record enquiry form (external link)
Requests will normally be processed within 10 working days but more complex enquiries may take longer.
Priority requests will be processed within 3 working days, subject to available resources.
We do not offer a consultancy service to developers; these services are provided by archaeological consultants.
4 Public access to the HER
A summary of the Historic Environment Record (HER) - excluding the Chichester district - can be accessed on the Heritage Gateway. This information will only be updated periodically and if you are carrying out planning, management or research you must contact us for the latest information, events records and accurate locations.
The HER can also be consulted by phone or email 9.00am-4.30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. To arrange an appointment contact us using the HER enquiry form or use the contact details below.
Due to limited space the public cannot consult the HER in person.
5 Archaeological Notification Areas
Archaeological Notification Areas (ANAs) are areas that indicate the existence, or probable existence, of archaeological heritage assets. They have been created from the information held on the West Sussex Historic Environment Record (HER), a database of all known heritage assets (except those in Chichester district) and mapped to provide an alert system.
The purpose of the ANAs is to identify where there is a likelihood of archaeological work being necessary, when land development of any kind is planned (for example, a new house, office building or pipeline/cable being laid). They are a form of early warning system so that appropriate steps can be taken to record and protect heritage assets in advance of development.Archaeological Notification Areas online map
ANAs define only currently known and recorded areas containing sensitive heritage assets. Where there are no ANAs on the map, it should not be assumed that there are no heritage assets in these locations. Many less sensitive known heritage assets are not within ANAs.
Each ANA has an alert colour associated with it (either red or amber) to denote the level of likelihood that archaeological remains may survive and therefore require you to request a HER search. Refer to our threshold guidance for further information: