Bob Sydes
Research Associate



I am a multi-skilled heritage professional with over 40 years experience of working in British field archaeology and Local Government planning policy and development management. After many years working on a variety of extensive urban excavations in Northampton, Lincoln and Hull I managed the South Yorkshire Archaeology Unit for a number of years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Following publication of Planning Policy Guidance Note 16, I moved into archaeological planning and policy work firstly for Cambridgeshire County Council and then Bath & North East Somerset Council up to 2005. During this time I was a key member of the Association of Local Government Officers and worked extensively on developing guidance and standards for managing development led archaeology in the planning process.

In 2005 I took up a management post with North Yorkshire County Council, line managing building conservation specialists, ecologists, landscape architects, archaeologists and countryside officers. Specifically, the team delivered development management advice and guidance to District Councils and developers and I was responsible for administering a building conservation grants programme and the North Yorkshire Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund grant programme. During this time I chaired the Thornborough Henges Working Group and secured agreement to conserve the Henges within a wider landscape.

Most recently I have been working with the City of York Council, enhancing the historic environment evidence base to support the emerging Local Plan and major development project planning briefs. During this time I secured funding from English Heritage and Reinvigorate York Board to design, manage and deliver an number of significant projects including: the Historic Core Conservation Area Appraisal; the City Centre Access & Mobility Audit; York Lighting Strategy; the City of York Historic Environment Characterisation Project; and, the City of York Streetscape Strategy and Guidance.

Currently (2015) I am a Research Associate at the University of York and a Heritage Consultant preparing conservation area appraisals and open space assessment for Craven District Council’s emerging Local Plan.

  • I have an excellent understanding of English Heritage’s Conservation Principles and Constructive Conservation approach to managing the historic environment. My core skills and competencies are:
  • Extensive knowledge of, and skill in, historic environment characterisation and assessment through evidence based studies to inform development management and Local Plan Policy;
  • Extensive experience of leading public and stakeholder consultation as part of developing and delivering heritage and public realm projects;
  • Successful design, management and delivery of grant funded heritage projects within agreed budgets and deadlines;
  • Excellent level of knowledge and experience in development management relating to sub-surface archaeology and the historic built environment.

Bob Sydes‌‌

Contact details

Mr Bob Sydes
Research Associate
Department of Archaeology
University of York
The King's Manor