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Bronze Age sites in Hull at risk

From This Is

The rich abundance of Bronze Age archaeology near one of the city's poorest housing estates is at risk from controversial plans to build 105 homes. Concern has been raised that developer Persimmon Homes has permission to build the houses on its Castle Grange site, off Noddle Hill Way, without having to carry out a full archaeological survey.

Neighbouring residents, city archaeologists and councillors have reacted with concern at a planning loophole, which could mean Bronze Age relics - including a suspected 4,000-year-old farmstead - being lost forever.

Persimmon Homes, based in Beverley, acquired the Castle Grange site in 1989 when planning conditions did not require an archaeological survey.

These days, builders are legally bound to undertake archaeological surveys before any foundations are dug.

Doreen Cox, 68, of Drummond Court, Bransholme, said any Bronze Age material should be excavated and recorded as part of the city's cultural heritage.

Mrs Cox said: "It's a shame the archaeology of this site is likely to be lost.

"At the end of the day it seems that money speaks and is more important than protecting historical artefacts."

Dave Evans, archaeology manager at Hull-based Humber Archaeology, said the Castle Grange area was "potentially rich" in Bronze Age matter.

But he said his organisation had little power to demand a survey was carried out.

Mr Evans said: "Throughout the planning application we tried to get a condition applied, which would in normal circumstances allow for an archaeological survey to be carried out.

"But there's nothing we can do as Persimmon acquired the site for building when such conditions did not exist.

"We have had a number of calls from concerned residents about this matter since approval was given for the housing plans.

"There is evidence of Bronze Age living in the area as it stretches out towards the fens as well as what may be an Iron Age farmstead.

"Although nothing can be done, we are pleased residents in the area are aware of archaeology in their area and are concerned for it."

Bransholme North councillor Anita Harrison said: "Were this to be York, these plans would not have been considered without archaeological consultation.

"But sadly in Hull our imagination only seems to extend to sports stadiums and sleeping policemen."

Andrew Bowes, deputy managing director of Persimmon Homes, said: "Archaeologists working on behalf of Hull City Council have carried out an investigation at the Castle Grange development and have advised that no such work is necessary."

Now Cllr Harrison and Bransholme East councillor Nadene Burton are calling on English Heritage to see if it can investigate.

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Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
23rd June 2003ce
Edited 23rd June 2003ce

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