Housing next to Southwell Roman settlement site rejected

image captionExcavations have revealed a large Roman villa and monumental wall in Southwell

Proposals to build houses next to a Roman settlement site in Nottinghamshire have been rejected by councillors.

Caunton Properties Ltd submitted plans to build 29 properties on Church Street in Southwell.

Officers had recommended that Newark and Sherwood District Council should approve the application.

More than 3,000 people, including several high-profile academics, signed a petition against the development.

Southwell Town Council also objected to the plans.

'Rare remains'

The district council planning committee voted to refuse the application on 8 November on the grounds of design and density of houses proposed.

The site is next to what could be one of the largest Roman villas in the UK, according to Dr Will Bowden, an expert in Roman archaeology.

The University of Nottingham lecturer said the discovery of "rare" remains dating back to the 7th or 8th Century made the site "wholly inappropriate" for development.

Campaigner Peter Kent said he was "highly delighted" with the outcome of the planning meeting.

"We want to develop the entire area as a heritage park, tying in Southwell Minster and the Archbishop's Palace which already has lottery funding to develop as an area of outstanding heritage," he said.

Caunton Properties Ltd was unavailable for comment.

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