Section 140 excavation permit

How to apply for a section 140 excavation permit and what to include in your application.

Excavation permits are granted under section 141 of the Heritage Act 1977.

An excavation permit is to make sure archaeological relics are excavated under appropriate supervision and to avoid offences. An excavation permit is needed if your proposed activities or works will:

  • disturb or excavate land that is likely to contain archaeological relics of State heritage significance
  • have a major impact on relics of local heritage significance.

This is the process of application lodgement to outcome.

How to apply

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Gather your essential documents

These include:

  • archaeological assessment report
  • archaeological research design and excavation methodology
  • excavation director details, CV and response to the Criteria for assessing excavation directors (PDF 310KB)
  • development consent and approved stamped plans (e.g. approved review of environmental factors or development application) or a statement as to why it is not required.

Hard copies of documents are not required.

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Request pre-lodgement comments

Consider requesting pre-lodgement comments on your proposal.

See Apply for heritage approvals and permits for more information about this free service.

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Set up your user account

Register a user account for the Heritage Management System if you are a first-time user.

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Lodge your application

Lodge your application online via the Heritage Management System.

You will receive an application ID and payment receipt.

Your application is checked for completeness within 14 days.

What happens next

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Application assessment

Once accepted as complete, your application is allocated for assessment and the application clock starts. The timeframe is 21 days.

The nature and extent of impact on the significance of the archaeology is assessed. Internal specialists may provide input.

You may be contacted to discuss your application, provide additional information, and/or clarify details.

An assessment report is then prepared with recommendations for determination.

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Application outcome

The Heritage Council of NSW is the approval body, however most applications are determined by a delegate.

The Heritage Council meets once a month. We can refer applications to the Heritage Council if:

  • the proposal would remove State significant archaeology
  • it is potentially in the public interest or high-profile
  • the proposal is large (e.g. covers an extensive area like a precinct, suburb or town, or infrastructure).

You can check the status of your application by logging into the Heritage Management System go to the dashboard section ‘My open applications’.

You will be informed of the outcome in writing.