Ancient feature to be retained in 150 homes plan near Shrewsbury retail park

Major plans for a 150-home estate next to Shrewsbury's Meole Brace Retail Park have been submitted to Shropshire Council.

The homes would be built on land next to the park and ride car park - and the proposal would see an historic ancient feature maintained as a centrepiece.

Applicants Savills Investment Management say the development would feature a late Neolithic to early Bronze Age double ring ditch, which was found by University of Birmingham archaeologists.

The plans, which are for outline permission, were submitted this week and will go before planners in the coming weeks.

Ben Shaw, from Barton Willmore, agents for the applicants, said: “Once complete, the proposed development is expected to deliver significant benefits to the site and wider locality.”

He said they include delivery of a “modern, high quality and sustainable development in an accessible location”; and will ensure the delivery of “high-quality residential uses which would contribute to the council’s housing targets”.


He added: “It will bring forward much needed residential accommodation, which can be delivered early in the plan period as the site is available for development in the immediate term and can make a meaningful contribution to meeting local housing needs.”

He added that other benefits would include “significant improvements” to the highway network to “ensure a more efficient and effective use of the park and ride facility.”

On the double ring ditch, the firm said: “The site has previously been identified as the location of a number of historic landscape features; a ‘late-Neolithic to Early Bronze Age double ring-ditch’, a ‘20th century military trench’ and multiple isolated ‘undated pits and gullies’.

“From 1994 over two years the site was excavated and examined by the University of Birmingham.

“The findings for the double ring-ditch were recorded under Heritage Record Reference identifying a 40m diameter outer ring and 29m inner ring each between 1.5m and 3.5m wide and 1m deep.

“Within the central area of the rings two ‘cremation pits’ were discovered in the quarter of the double rings that were excavated including a considerable quantity of burnt bone.

“As a result of the discovery of the ditches the route of the link road to the park and ride was revised.

“The indicative proposed layout facilitates the protection of the double ring-ditch through the provision of open space around the area to ensure that there would be no development impacts on the archaeological potential of the site.”

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