The 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 HER covers the whole of West Sussex but Chichester District Council maintain their own separate HER.
2 Information the HER contains
An Historic Environment Record 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 an HER report and map:
3 Request an HER search
You can request a commercial HER search or an HER search relating to a planning application enquiry. These are chargeable services.
Before submitting the HER enquiry form read the charging policy, under 'Supporting documents' below, which explains the levels of charges and additional charges.Historic Environment Record enquiry form
Requests will normally be processed within 10 working days but more complex enquiries may take longer.
Priority requests will be processed within 2 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 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 an HER search. Refer to our threshold guidance for further information: