Thursday, 14 March 2013

Save Roman Southwell - Plan for Roman site opposed

Town councillors have objected to fresh plans for housing on the former Church Street site of The Minster School, Southwell.
Southwell Heritage Trust wants the site, where archaeologists have found a Roman villa said to be of national importance, to become a heritage park.

There were calls, at a meeting of Southwell Town Council planning committee, for Newark and Sherwood District Council to deal with the park proposal at the same time as the homes application.

The application is for nine homes, and proposes that the key archaeology be preserved in situ and not built on.

A Saxon burial ground has also been found at the site and could provide a link between the Roman occupation of Southwell and the minster cathedral.

The Southwell committee, whose comments are forwarded to the district council, objected to the homes for five main reasons.

These were the prematurity of the application, the proposed design and layout, the impact on the archaeology, the impact on views of the minster, and the absence of lower-cost housing.

The committee chairman for the night, Mrs Beryl Prentice, said the heritage trust application should be dealt with by the district council at the same time as the homes plan.

She said, and colleagues agreed, the homes plan was premature, because allocations mapping development in the district were being assessed by a planning inspector and the outcome wasn’t known.

Mr Peter Harris said it wasn’t a consideration as to whether the applicant made money from the sale of the homes or not.

He said that what branded the application a joke was the fact it was being suggested the homes would sell for £600,000 when he thought they would achieve seven figures.

Mr Harris said: “I am opposed to this application because I fundamentally don’t think it is appropriate to have this level of development in what is essentially now an open space.

“Any other town with an adjacent cathedral wouldn’t get significant development. Having said that district council planners seem keen for this site to be developed.”

A member of the public, Katie Todd, of Church Street, feared the application could bring flooding.

She said in 2007 30-40 properties were affected and recent deluges had led to worry of a repeat.

Another resident, Mr Peter Kent, said at 21/2 storeys high, the houses would be massive and views of the minster would be affected.


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