Site with 47 homes touted may have been home to Roman villa

Land for 47 homes in Banham

The land in Banham on which the 47 homes would be built, pictured in 2009. - Credit: Google

Plans have been lodged to build 47 new houses on land which may at one time have been part of a Roman villa.  

An archaeological report prepared as part of the planning application for the new homes in Banham, near Attleborough, said the site was likely to have formed part of a Roman landholding or farmstead. 

Trenches dug near the village’s Greyhound Lane were said to have uncovered Roman building materials, which indicate the former existence of “a high-status residency near the site, although… it is possible such a building was a bath house perhaps used by agricultural workers rather than the core of a villa estate itself”.

A separate report, prepared by a freelance heritage consultant, said it has been agreed with the Norfolk Historic Environment Service that the any disturbance to the Roman remains “can be mitigated by… a programme of archaeological works comprising the excavation of the majority of the land which lies to the north of Greyhound Lane.”

The homes would go up on land north-east of Greyhound Lane, at the northern entrance to the village, which in 2011 was home to some 1,481 people. 

An open space south-west of Greyhound Lane would remain undeveloped. 

The housing would consist of ten two-bedroom, 27 three-bedroom and ten four-bedroom homes.

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Each home would include roughly ten solar panels, an air source heat pump, and electric vehicle charging points. 

Water from roof slopes would be collected into water butts for reuse within private gardens.

Ten of the homes would be bungalows, which the developer’s agent said would be particularly “suitable for older residents as well as younger families or those with impaired mobility”.

One neighbour, who has objected to the plans, said they would represent “a massive over development for the village”.

They added: “The number of proposed dwellings is grossly excessive for the area of the land concerned.

“The village amenities are currently inadequate and this proposal would only make the situation worse. 

“The doctor's surgery and the school are already overwhelmed.”

Breckland Council is due to issue a decision on the scheme by May 31. 

The plans can be viewed and commented on by searching for reference 3PL/2022/0247/F at http://planning.breckland.gov.uk/OcellaWeb/planningSearch