Lucrative site could hold ancient remains

Housing site lies just off Bellshill bypass and adjacent to Strathclyde Park.
Housing site lies just off Bellshill bypass and adjacent to Strathclyde Park.

An archaeology expert says checks for valuable prehistoric remains should be made before a prestigious housing development goes ahead.

High quality homes are planned for a 37-acre site close to Strathclyde Park.

Planning consultants say the development wouldn’t have a harmful effect on the environment, but Murray Cook, who was asked to comment on the archaeology of the area, has urged North Lanarkshire Council to proceed with caution.

The ground lies next to Strathclyde Park’s caravan site, just off the A725 Bellshill bypass.

In a report to the authority Mr Cook stated: “The area has been subject to arable agriculture since the middle of the 18th century which raises the possibility of previously unknown prehistoric remains surviving it.

“It is also clear that the area contains the remains of a medieval/post-medieval road from the north west to Bothwell Bridge and thus may contain objects dropped by travellers. It might also impact on the remains of Bogs Farm which is first recorded in the 18th century.”

Mr Cook has urged the council to investigate before approving any housing proposals.

In a separate report Gordon MacCallum, a director of planning consultants Keppie, said the mostly grassland site would produce a “discrete, quality location within a parkland setting”.

An application in principle has been submitted by North and South Lanarkshire Development Investment Trust.

Mr MacCallum stated: “Significant areas of open space will be provided to reflect the surrounding landscape, and the retention of existing woodland will maintain the setting of the site and protect existing wildlife from the development.”

The development would be set back at least 20 metres from the Bellshill bypass to counter the effects of noise and air pollution.

The consultant added: “The positioning of the buildings will be managed carefully to minimise any noise and visual impacts from the bypass.

“Overall, we believe the site to present a well-contained area for development that will fit well within the existing landscape structure.”