• Making heritage make sense

  • What I do

    I provide expert archaeology and heritage advice to the development and construction sector


    Charting a course for your project through the complexities of heritage planning

    archaeology | historic buildings | historic landscapes

    advice | risk analysis | impact assessment | survey | project design and management


    I provide expert advice and support direct to private and public clients who are looking to develop land:

    • at an early strategic level when looking at options for development, 
    • during a planning or listed building application, or 
    • subsequently when conditions need to be discharged.

    Working as part of your team, I help you make the most of the opportunities presented. 


    I aim to reduce budget and programme risk, and seek the best possible outcome for both the development and the historic environment.

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    Supporting your in-house heritage team

    expertise | capacity | flexibility


    I also work with other heritage organisations, on a flexible sub-contract or interim basis. 


    I help to boost expert capability and capacity whenever it's needed.


    I'm experienced at fitting quickly into multi-disciplinary teams on large and complex projects and can be trusted to deliver.

  • About me

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    Nick Shepherd



    I am a Heritage Consultant working within the planning and development industry, with over 30 years experience in the sector.


    I am currently spending much of my time working with Atkins Global providing support on Phase 1 of HS2 between London and Birmingham, although I'm still available for a limited amount of other commissions.


    Before becoming an independent consultant I was a Director at CgMs, the UKs leading planning and heritage consultancy (now part of RPS), where I led the team in Cheltenham providing heritage planning advice to commercial clients.


    Prior to this I acted as a freelance consultant to global engineering consultants Atkins, working on the environmental impact assessment for HS2 Rail, and held senior management positions within the UK's largest commercial heritage provider, Oxford Archaeology. I have managed heritage input on a range of projects from small domestic development to large scale and complex engineering schemes including London Crossrail, Stansted Airport (for BAA), the Baku to Cayhen pipeline (for BP) and London Gateway Port (for Dubai Ports World). I have experience of development in sectors including infrastructure, housing, urban regeneration and utilities/renewables and have provided consultancy advice to a range of private and public sector clients.

    After studying archaeology at the University of Birmingham I have undertaken post-graduate study in law and business administration. I am a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (having previously served as Vice Chair), and an Associate of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment. I recently acted as Chief Executive for the Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers.

    Specialties: heritage planning advice, desk-based assessment and heritage statements, environmental impact assessment, project management, heritage marketing and business development.


    I combine an enthusiasm for seeing the best possible heritage solutions with a practical and pragmatic approach focussed on understanding what my clients are trying to achieve.


    If you think I may be able to help you, get in touch by connecting with me below.

  • Recent work

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    Barn conversion, Cotswolds

    Threshing barn, to malt house, to new home

    I worked with a team including the architects, structural engineers and building conservation specialists to achieve planning consent for conversion of a listed Cotswold stone barn. A detailed heritage statement assessing the significance of the barn and the impact of the proposed works helped to reassure the planning authority and Historic England that we were able to protect and reveal the significance of the historic structure while still delivering a superb contemporary new home. The client successfully sold the property with planning and listed building consent and the new owner is now preparing to begin the hard work of conversion.


    If you have a listed or non listed historic building and need advice on heritage planning issues, get in touch.

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    Design and delivery: High Speed 2

    The largest infrastructure project in Europe and a generational opportunity to better understand the archaeology and heritage of southern England

    Working as a freelance consultant with the Atkins Global team I have helped to deliver both the environmental impact assessment, during 2015/16, and the research and delivery strategy in 2017. Currently I'm working with the HS2 environmental team and the Enabling Works Contractors to deliver the archaeology and heritage for the central section of the route from the Colne Valley in west London through Bucks, Northants and into Warwickshire, including some of the most complex and important sites along the route.


    With significant expertise and experience of major projects I'm available to support your team through design or implementation.

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    Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers

    Promoting the ​profession

    For over three years until June 2019, I was the CEO of FAME, the trade association for archaeological contractors and consultants. I was there to guide strategy and provide the public face of the organisation to both the heritage and construction sectors. This kept me on top of policy and guidance developments and still gives me a unique network of contacts across the industry.

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    Small housing development, Gloucestershire

    Helping a private client make the most of their land​ value

    Small housing developments can still impact on archaeological remains with risk to programme and budget.


    On this project I was able to help avoid expensive desk-based and geophysical survey, getting agreement to go straight to evaluation trenching which revealed the remains of a Roman farmstead on part of the site. The results are being used to support a planning application, and if successful, I will be organising further pre-construction excavation to discharge the condition.


    Early consultation on archaeology and heritage can massively reduce development risks. Get in contact to discuss how I can help.

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    An archaeological priority area, Kingston upon Thames, London

    Removing archaeology as a constraint on development

    At a late stage in the planning process the client, a large multi-diciplinary consultancy, became aware that their proposed upgrade to a local authority waste site was located within one of London's Archaeology Priority Areas. With their own in-house heritage expertise already commited on other projects, NSP was asked to step in and rapidly appraise the risks, produce a desk-based assessment and design evaluation works to support the planning application. The outcome of the work has been to demonstrate that while there is archaeological potential, the proposals will cause no harm, and so can proceed with no further constraint.


    If your heritage team needs extra support or added expertise on a project give me a call.

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    Listed buildings and conservation areas

    Assessing the impact of new development in a historic town

    Obtaining consent for new build in conservation areas in not straightforward, especially when the site lies within the setting of numerous listed buildings. The key is early engagement with the planning authority and their conservation officer to arrive at a scheme that enhances architectural and historic significance, and minimises or avoids harm. On this site in the historic Cotswold town of Marston Moretain, detailed desk-based reaserch identified the significance of the both the built heritage and archaeology, assessed the impact of the proposed scheme, and helped to inform a design that obtained consent.


    If you need advice on a proposed scheme within a conservation area or close to listed buildings contact me for a preliminary discussion.

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    Providing training in archaeological project management

    Supporting capacity building in the sector

    I've been working with the University of Oxford Department of Continuing Education to design and deliver a course in project management for archaeologists. Some comments from attendees:

    "really enjoyed the course"

    "could have done with some of this training, before I embarked on project managing a 2 year archaeological project "

    "it has brought clarity to a lot of concepts which I was aware of and strategies and methods which I already use but added an awareness of a much greater level of order and structure and provided me with direction on how to develop them further "


    Due to COVID 19 the course is not running in 2020, but it can also be bespoke designed and delivered in-house direct to your project teams. Get in touch for more details.

  • Connect with me

    NSP Heritage Consulting

    24 Wales Street | Kings Sutton | Banbury| Oxon | OX173RR

    Tel: +44 (0)7718 994 946


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  • NS Projects Heritage Consulting Ltd, Registered in the UK, Company No 09772522

    Registered Office: 24 Wales Street, Kings Sutton, Northamptonshire, OX173RR