Thursday, 8 May 2008

'Roman' threat to stud farm plans in Granborough, Bucks

From the Bucks Herald.

PLANS to open a stud farm in Granborough may have to be reassessed after claims that there is a Roman Villa and the remains of a medieval settlement on the site.
The information came to light when a previous owner revealed to Davina Thorogood, chairman of Granborough Parish Council, that there were considerable archaeological remains on the land at Green Lane.

In a letter to district council planning officers, Mrs Thorogood said the Roman villa was in the top left corner of the site and revealed that the remains of the settlement were in the bottom left hand of the field. Last year Roman coins dating back to 79AD were found on the surface using a metal detector.

Before this information was released, residents turned up at a meeting called by Granborough Parish Council to protest against the planning application. Many protestors said that the road to the proposed farm is only a single carriage road not big enough for horse boxes or able to withstand the volume of traffic.

One anonymous complaint received by The Bucks Herald from a resident said: "It is a single lane, crumbling road with verges that are unforgiving to those that pull over to let oncoming vehicles pass. The anger is aimed at the vehicles with horse boxes going down this narrow lane which is 'used' for recreational activity by the villagers such as walking, cycling, children playing and dog walking. The human risk is high."

The application was to change the use of the land to a stud farm with the erection of a Dutch barn, horse walker, re-modelling of existing building and formation of car park.

Granborough district councillor, Janet Blake backs the residents' opposition to the plan because of road side and countryside issues and welcomes an obstacle to the plans.

She said: "It is exciting if there is a Roman village there, it is not something that happens everyday but at the moment it is a good reason for why development should not continue. My intervention is however on planning."

Planning and conservation archaeologist from Bucks County Council, David Radford said that they were unaware of the findings on the site and had to dig through records.

He added: "We will review this planning application and double check our records to see if there is any information of this in the back logs. This could be misplaced information. I will check to see if there is any new information that has not yet made it to us and also look into the historical environmental records.

"We need to have concrete information to go forward with an archaeological investigation. If it is hearsay that is quite difficult to act upon. If there is however a significant site then we will have to take a view on what we can ask. We may ask for trial trenching. It would be a very interesting part of the jigsaw puzzle. Questions to establish its value would also be raised."

Full story here.

No comments: