Friday, September 21, 2012

Building work begins on development despite evidence of Roman settlement

BUILDING work has begun on a controversial development in Kingswood despite the first phase of an archaeological dig finding evidence of a Roman settlement on the site.

Developers Taylor Wimpey commenced work at Chestnut Park on Monday this week, on the ground where the first stage of a five-phase archaeological survey has been completed. As a condition of the development, the heritage survey is exploring five plots on the 412 acre site.
Taylor Wimpey's plan for a 27-home housing scheme was approved by Stroud planning bosses in November 2011 after an initial proposal to build 37 homes on the site was turned down earlier that year.

Patricia Broadfoot, chairman of Keep Kingswood A Village (KKaV), launched to fight the scheme, said the group had a number of concerns with the current stage of development.
She said a condition was put on the approved application that heavy-duty vehicles should not drive up narrow Chestnut Park Road until 8am to avoid disturbing residents.
However residents have complained to several members of KKaV about delivery lorries travelling up the road as early as 7.25am, blocking their cars in and requiring building staff to wake residents up to move their cars.

Ms Broadfoot added that she was also concerned about the possible loss of priceless archaeological finds.
"Much more worrying for me, not living on the road, is the archaeology," she said. "What I gather have been found are extremely rare fourth and fifth century artefacts."
But Charles Parry, senior archaeological officer at Gloucestershire County Council, said the finds were not of historical importance.
He said: "As predicted, there is some Roman occupation this site, dating to the later Roman period. The problem is that the archaeological remains are very poorly maintained."
Mr Parry explained that the boundaries, cobble stones and archaeological finds including pottery and animal bones do not amount to articles of great historical importance as the ground had been subject to intensive ploughing in the mediaeval times and later, leaving a truncated, damaged site.
The archaeologists, AC Archaeology, will continue their analysis of the area.

Kingswood Parish Council chairman Cllr David Rockey said a number of lorries had turned up at the site this week, causing villagers considerable upset.

Via Building work begins on development despite evidence of Roman settlement