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Plan for 11 homes on Christchurch town centre car park thrown out after local history groups object

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AN application for 11 homes in Christchurch town centre was refused after local historians said they would be built on top of potentially "nationally important" archaeological treasures.

Axis 51 Developments had submitted the plans for land at 1 High Street which is off the Fountain roundabout and currently used as a car park.

It said the mix of three houses and eight flats would give affordable, "high quality" housing to meet local need.

The car park at 1 High Street in Christchurch (picture: Google) (54015985)
The car park at 1 High Street in Christchurch (picture: Google) (54015985)

But many objectors argued the applicant had "completely failed" to acknowledge the site lay close to a scheduled ancient monument and was believed to contain the remains of Saxon defences.

The Christchurch Antiquarians group objected on the grounds that “there is inadequate consideration of the potential for important archaeology under the site to be developed”.

It added: “The evidence suggests there is a high potential for significant archaeological deposits and features to be present within the proposed development area."

Christian Payne, chair of Christchurch History, said it was also against the plan, adding: "This should not be considered until a full archaeological dig has taken place as was recommended when previous similar planning applications have been made.”

The application was refused by BCP Council on grounds including that "its position, layout and detailing and materials has an adverse impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area”.

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