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Historic Environment Record response times and format

Response times

We aim to acknowledge emails within 2 working days and to provide a full response to emails and written communications within 10 working days. We aim to respond to any voicemail message left with us within one working day. 

The Dorset Historic Environment Record (HER) aims to respond to straightforward HER search requests within 10 working days and to all requests within 20 working days.  

We make every effort to deal with enquiries quickly but we are a small team and need to balance the calls upon our time.

We do not offer a 'fast track'  service. Please let us know if you have a deadline and we will do our best to meet it.

Response format

We prefer data to be provided by email. There is a printing cost if paper reports are required. Dorset Council uses MapInfo for its Geographical Information System (GIS), so mapping can be provided in this format, as Shapefiles, or as a PDF of the HER map, if requested. Please bear in mind that overlapping may obscure some data when the map is packaged as a PDF.

You may be asked to sign and return a licence agreement to reuse the HER data sent to you. We must receive this before data is sent to you. A charge may be made in some circumstances, based on the type of search and number of monument records. Read more about charging policy and scale of charges.

Type of searchSummaryResponse format
Strategic GIS-based designation and characterisation data and is only appropriate to high-level strategic studies not scheme-specific assessment.  Available GIS data only, provided in MapInfo or Shapefile format.
Basic An enquiry about a single property, perhaps seeking information for use in a Statement of Heritage Significance as part of an application for relatively minor changes to a single historic building or within a Conservation Area is likely to fall into this category. A summary report on the property or a summary of HER records in the immediate vicinity, depending on the circumstances, and a copy of the HER map. These will be provided in pdf format. Additional information and advice will be provided as appropriate.

(0 to 50 monument records)

A typical search of this size might cover an area of 1km radius in rural areas, 750m radius in villages, 100m radius in smaller historic towns, but as little as 50m radius in the heart of larger historic towns such as Dorchester and Poole.

A report on HER records, including designation information. GIS shapefiles for monuments and events. GIS shapefiles for Historic Landscape Characterisation, if requested.

(51-150 monument records)

Typically these will be pipeline routes, areas over 1km radius in rural areas or over 250m radius in large urban areas, particularly if the search area is away from the historic core.

A report on HER records, including designation information. GIS shapefiles for monuments and events. GIS shapefiles for Historic Landscape Characterisation, if requested.

(150 + monument records)

Unusually large or complex searches involving over 150 monument records or more than half a day of officer time will be individually costed. 

If your enquiry falls into this category, we will contact you to discuss it.


See guidance for Historic Environment Record users.

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