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'Archaeological anomalies' in £12m link road plan

By Aimee Jones | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

The route of a proposed link road has been identified as a site with archaeological interest.

Gary Dymond, technical lead for Mouchel, and Matt Johnson, strategic highways and contracts manager for Shropshire Council, with the plans for the Oxon Link Road

Shropshire Council’s plan for the £12 million Oxon Link Road in Shrewsbury has attracted hundreds of objections from businesses and residents.

If successful, the two-lane carriageway, which would be about one mile in length, would connect the Churncote roundabout on the A5 to Holyhead Road at Oxon.

Andy Wigley, the authority’s natural and historic environment manager, said the service did not object to the plans but that assessments have identified a number of archaeological anomalies.

In an official report responding to the planning application Mr Wigley said the land had been the location of notable archaeological finds in the past.

He said: “Eighteen potential below ground archaeological assets have been identified through a search of the Shropshire Historic Environment Record within the same study area. Of these, a find spot for Neolithic stone axe and the former site of an early 19th century toll house are located within the proposed development site itself.

“It is considered that these indicate that the proposed development site has moderate archaeological potential.”

Mr Wigley suggested a condition that no development or demolition should be carried out until a mitigation strategy has been submitted and approved by planners.

Heritage

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One of the conditions of the support of the department is that further investigation takes place on the potential for items buried below the surface.

Mr Wigley said: “With regard to the impact of the proposed development on below ground archaeological remains, the cultural heritage chapter acknowledges that a further phase of field evaluation, in the form of a systematic trial trenching exercise, is necessary.”

His report also indicates that the road would not have a harmful effect on the nearby Grade II listed Oxon Hall.

He said: “The cultural heritage chapter also acknowledges that the proposed development will come close to the Grade II listed Oxon Hall and its associated non-designated parkland. Whilst there will be no-direct impacts on either of these heritage assets, it recognises that there could be indirect impacts as a result of the effects upon their settings.

“However, it states that the hall is surrounded on the west, south and east sides by mature planting, which provides a significant degree of screening. As a result, the principle view and outlook from the hall is to the north, away from the proposed development site.

“In addition, a caravan site exists to the south-west of the hall, beyond the former boundary of the associated park, whilst a hospice has been established within the former parkland to the south-east and other development immediately beyond.”

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and South Shropshire.

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