• Follow us on Linkedin
Maidstone and Malling's No.1 Newspaper
  • Advertising options to suit all budgets

  • Call 01622 630330 and speak to a member of the sales team

  • Maximum advertising exposure with our online editions

LATEST: Ancient finds made at Otham homes site

Tuesday 28th September 2021

TWO thousand year old archaeological finds have been unearthed at the site of the controversial housing development at Otham, Downs Mail has learnt.

Shards of pottery and at least one animal bone dating from the late Iron Age or early Roman times.

Three main excavation sites were created over a five-week by Wessex Archaeology, a private firm used on builds to see if there are significant remains underground.

We understand some walls have been exposed and items found in ditches, dating back 2,000 years.

Local borough councillor Gordon Newton said: "I can't go onto the land, as it would be deemed as  trespassing, but I am told some discoveries have been made. It is doubtful they are significant enough to halt the work going ahead, which is a pity."

There was fierce opposition to Bellway Homes' plans for 421 houses at Church Road and despite the scheme being thrown out by elected members, the scheme was approved on appeal to a government inspector.

Elected members flew in the face of their planning officers’ recommendations to approve over concerns about highways and the impact on the ancient church next door. The plan was already included in the 2017 Local Plan.

Officers claimed the developer would very likely win an appeal and a negotiating position would be lost.

A spokesman for Wessex Archaeology said: "We have an agreement of confidentiality with the client. We can't make a comment."

Bellway was approached for a comment.

A well-placed source said: “If we halted every building project because of an archaeological dig unearthing a few old broken pots that Iron Age man threw into a pit, no houses would ever get built anywhere.

“That’s just the sad reality, I am afraid.”