Monday, 25 July 2011

Save Roman Southwell - 2,500 fight to save villa site

A PETITION to protect a rare archeological site in Southwell has been signed by more than 2,500 people.

The Save Roman Southwell (SRS) campaign was set up to oppose a planning application to build 29 houses on most of the old Minster school site.

The site in Church Street is home to the remains of one of the largest Roman villas in the UK, which protesters argue is key to understanding Southwell's origins.

Newark and Sherwood District Council is considering the proposal by Caunton Properties Ltd, who were unavailable for comment, to build houses next to the remains.

The SRS campaign says it is not only about stopping developments in the town, but also about creating a tourist attraction.

Southwell Heritage Trust member Trevor Wight said: "This groundswell of opinion puts the responsibility on all of us to make sure the mistakes of the past, when important heritage was destroyed, are not repeated."

SRS wants to return the site to community ownership and put up information boards.

Experts say that the site is of national importance.

The Rev Prof Martin Henig of Oxford University said: "This could be a five-star educational and tourist resource for the town.''

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