Legal expert makes fact-finding visit to threatened hillfort

Related Articles

Related Articles

A specialist planning lawyer has met with campaigners to discuss the prospect of legal action against development affecting the setting of Old Oswestry hillfort.

The meeting comes as Shropshire’s local plan, known as SAMDev, nears the end of its examination by Inspector Claire Sherratt. The plan includes a large housing estate within an archaeologically busy zone of the hillfort’s hinterland which was pivotal to its military connections with the nearby World War I/II Park Hall training camp.

Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort
Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort

Members of HOOOH (Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort) discussed issues over the progression of OSW004 in SAMDev with their guest during a tour of the hillfort. They also surveyed the greenfield site from the B4580 Whittington Road, a key corridor for views of the hillfort, to consider the visual and landscape impacts of development.

The Inspector has kept the 117 house estate in SAMDev subject to ‘masterplanning’ conditions agreed between Historic England (formerly English Heritage) and Shropshire Council in a ‘Statement of Common Ground’.

The agreement, which was reached outside public consultation, has been widely challenged in responses to the Inspector’s modifications including by longstanding campaign supporter, RESCUE (The British Archaeological Trust).


Subscribe to more articles like this by following our Google Discovery feed - Click the follow button on your desktop or the star button on mobile. Subscribe

The heritage preservation group points out that the planning conditions for delivery of OSW004 ‘are both contradictory and inconsistent with the sensitivity of the site, lying as it does within the immediate setting of Old Oswestry Hillfort in which the present rural environment is critical.’

HOOOH understands that the Inspector will be submitting her examination report and final plan over the summer ahead of its adoption by Shropshire Council.

HOOOH member, Neil Phillips, said: “This latest visit is part of professional advice we are taking in preparation for a judicial review should OSW004 remain in the plan for council adoption.”

The government is currently urging local authorities to prioritise brownfield development, incentivising it in the June budget, rather than remove good agricultural land like OSW004 from production.

Tim Malim, HOOOH’s heritage planning adviser, said: “A growing number of councils, such as Powys, Herefordshire, Cheshire East, East Devon, Aylesbury Vale, Norwich, Canterbury City, and Uttlesford, to name but a few, have had to revisit their local plans after they were found unsound or legally challenged, causing considerable extra cost and delay.

“Does Shropshire Council really want to risk this for the sake of 117 houses which will devalue one of the County’s most iconic landmarks and are strongly opposed by an influential national lobby?”

In addition to RESCUE, other major organisations have voiced their opposition to OSW004 including the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), The Prehistoric Society and The Society of Antiquaries of London. Prominent figures have added their weight such as MP Tim Loughton, Professor Sir Barrington Cunliffe CBE, and Professor Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn who is Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group (APPAG).

“We urge Shropshire Council to see common sense,” said Mr Malim.

https://www.facebook.com/OldOswestryHillfort

http://oldoswestryhillfort.co.uk/

- Advertisement -

Download the HeritageDaily mobile application on iOS and Android

More on this topic

LATEST NEWS

Drones Map High Plateaus Basin in Moroccan Atlas to Understand Human Evolution

Researchers from the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH) have been using drones to create high-resolution aerial images and topographies to compile maps of the High Plateaus Basin in Moroccan Atlas.

The Kerguelen Oceanic Plateau Sheds Light on the Formation of Continents

How did the continents form? Although to a certain extent this remains an open question, the oceanic plateau of the Kerguelen Islands may well provide part of the answer, according to a French-Australian team led by the Géosciences Environnement Toulouse laboratory.

Ancient Societies Hold Lessons for Modern Cities

Today's modern cities, from Denver to Dubai, could learn a thing or two from the ancient Pueblo communities that once stretched across the southwestern United States. For starters, the more people live together, the better the living standards.

Volubilis – The Ancient Berber City

Volubilis is an archaeological site and ancient Berber city that many archaeologists believe was the capital of the Kingdom of Mauretania.

Pella – Birthplace of Alexander The Great

Pella is an archaeological site and the historical capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedon.

New Argentine fossils uncover history of celebrated conifer group

Newly unearthed, surprisingly well-preserved conifer fossils from Patagonia, Argentina, show that an endangered and celebrated group of tropical West Pacific trees has roots in the ancient supercontinent that once comprised Australia, Antarctica and South America, according to an international team of researchers.

High-tech CT reveals ancient evolutionary adaptation of extinct crocodylomorphs

The tree of life is rich in examples of species that changed from living in water to a land-based existence.

Fish fossils become buried treasure

Rare metals crucial to green industries turn out to have a surprising origin. Ancient global climate change and certain kinds of undersea geology drove fish populations to specific locations.

Archaeologists Discover Viking Toilet in Denmark

Archaeologists excavating a settlement on the Stevns Peninsula in Denmark suggests they have discovered a toilet from the Viking Age.

Innovation by ancient farmers adds to biodiversity of the Amazon, study shows

Innovation by ancient farmers to improve soil fertility continues to have an impact on the biodiversity of the Amazon, a major new study shows.

Popular stories