Thursday, 10 February 2011

News - An insult to our history (Southwell Roman Villa)

Opposition to homes on a historically-important site in Southwell has been reiterated as one councillor branded the plans an insult to the people of the town. 

Slightly amended plans for 31 homes on the former Church Street site of The Minster School have been submitted by Caunton Properties Ltd to Newark and Sherwood District Council.

As members of Southwell Town Council’s planning committee discussed the application, there was further dismay that the plans were even being considered.

The site contains Roman remains believed to be those of a large villa or a temple.

Experts believe the remains are of significant national importance.

The planning committee chairman, Mr Brendan Haigh, said the new plans were no better than those first submitted.

He said: “I really do think this is an insult to the people of our town and their history and it does nothing whatsoever to enhance or protect the conservation area. In fact it does the exact reverse.

“We confirm our previous objections and say this building has done nothing whatsoever to make us change our minds on that.”

Mr Haigh said he did not think the buildings proposed were suitable.

He said: “I think they are unsuitable for a heritage site such as this, in a conservation area, right next to Southwell Minster and on the site of Roman remains.

“These are the sort of buildings you expect to see in a city. They are more like a big block of flats near the city centre.

“They are totally out of character and totally out of keeping.”

Mr Andy Gregory said he did not see the point in the committee discussing the plans for a second time.

He said: “We have made our objections so I don’t see any need for any further discussion.

“If these plans were next to York Minster or Beverley Minster or any other cathedral in the country these wouldn’t be considered so for the district council to even consider it is ridiculous.”

Mr Roger Dobson said it was disappointing that plans had been submitted for any development on the site.

He said: “It is a site of national archaeological importance so surely our views are that any development is unacceptable.”

The committee agreed to object to the plans for the reasons agreed when they were first discussed in July.

The reasons included that the site contained important archaeology and that the design and number of houses were not suitable.

There was also concerns about highways and flooding.


  1. Save Roman Southwell

    This is the facebook group for anyone who is concerned about the threat to the Roman heritage of Southwell (Nottinghamshire) caused by the proposed housing development adjacent to the known Roman villa at Southwell. The archaeological sequence at Southwell is of national importance, encompassing the Roman villa and the late Saxon-Norman Minster. The proposed development threatens a key element of this sequence, including parts of a 7th-8th century cemetery. Please voice your opposition to this development by posting here and linking to this group

  2. How sad that people have no consideration for preserving the past. Surely there are other places for a housing development!

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