More Roman remains could be found under Cuerden site earmarked for housing

Archaeologists interested in Lancashire's Roman history are calling on a developer to carry out a site dig before 87 new homes are built.

Friday, 18th January 2019, 12:15 pm
Updated Friday, 18th January 2019, 1:39 pm
Land off Nell Lane, Cuerden, could be developed for housing if Chorley Council give the green light. Image: Google

Joanne Smith of the Lancashire Archaeological Advisory Service has written to Chorley Council about the site south of Nell Lane, which Redrow hope to develop, thought to be crossed by the line of the Roman road from Wigan to Preston.

It comes after the Post last week revealed a well-preserved section of the much-debated road was found less than a metre below ground on the Cuerden Strategic Site, near Stanified Lane, Farington.

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Referring to the Lancashire Historic Environment Record showing land off Nell Lane, Ms Smith wrote: "The road is shown running north to south through the site, along the eastern boundary. There is therefore a potential for the proposed development to encounter buried archaeological remains associated with the Roman road and associated road side activity."

She added: "Surviving remains are however considered unlikely to be of the highest significance and could be adequately preserved by record (archaeological excavation and recording). Furthermore the proposed development site also falls within an area identified by Historic England as a possible deserted medieval settlement."

The Service requests that should planning permission be granted, the archaeological work be carried out before any homes are built.

The development proposal has attracted a host of objections from locals and Cuerden Parish Council, who raise concerns about access from a narrow, rural lane, increased traffic, flooding in the area, and the removal of trees and hedgerows.

Karl Longworth, land director for Redrow Homes (Lancashire), declined to comment on the archaeology of the area.

He said: “We have submitted a comprehensive, considered application to Chorley Council to develop new family homes in Cuerden and are currently awaiting the planning authority’s decision.

"Our focus is on delivering a development of high quality properties, building responsibly and contributing to thriving communities and, if permission is granted, we will be guided by the local authority on any appropriate conditions.”