Update on Bourne Hill site 26 September
In response to ongoing queries regarding the Bourne Hill site, we would like to reiterate that planning permission has not yet been granted. Wyre’s planning committee recommended approval at the committee meeting of June 2023, subject to a Section 106 (S106) agreement. A S106 agreement is currently being finalised on the infrastructure requirements of local service providers such as Lancashire County Council (LCC) and the NHS. In this instance, money has been requested to support the reconfiguration and extension of Thornton Medical Centre and Beechwood surgery, to contribute towards play equipment on the recreational land on Bourne Way and to improve highway safety.
Once the S106 is agreed, planning permission can be granted, which includes a condition relating to archaeological finds and excavations. Oxford Archaeology North (OAN) have been commissioned by the developer to conduct an archaeological survey and are currently preparing the post excavation report to satisfy this planning condition. The report will detail all of the archaeological works conducted, together with the results and analysis of the findings and once finalised, will be made available to the public providing valuable insight into these discoveries. We have visited the site this week and have held discussions with the developer to reiterate that work cannot commence until all conditions are discharged and we would like to reassure the public once more that all work so far has proceeded in accordance with the standard process for managing archaeological sites in the planning process. The council has relied, as it always does, on the expertise of a specialist archaeology planning officer from Lancashire County Council’s (LCC) Historic Environment Team throughout this process.
Peter McCrone, Planning Officer (Archaeology), Lancashire County Council Historic Environment Team states, “The excavations were carried out to a project design that conforms with national standards and guidance from the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. The post excavation process will also be carried out in conformation with CIfA standards and guidance. Ultimately the archaeological archive will be deposited with Lancashire County Museums but options for earlier presentations to local schools, special interest groups and the public are being explored.”
Archaeology finds are common on development sites and the planning system has within it a number of controls to protect or preserve these should it be necessary. Initial findings from expert advisors at LCC have confirmed that there will be no archaeological harm done by removing any finds and by any subsequent development.
Update on Bourne Hill 22 September
In response to further queries raised regarding the Bourne Hill site, whilst we await the final archaeology report, Lancashire County Council has confirmed that there will be no archaeological harm done by removing any finds and by any subsequent development. Any finds will be sent to Lancashire County Council’s museum service and the final report will outline their final resting place.
We have been asked also about supporting infrastructure for the development. The developers have been asked to make a payment of £315,844 in a Section 106 (S106) agreement. Section 106 money is money that developers of larger sites pay to the council to reduce the impact of the development. Developers sign an S106 agreement as part of their planning permission and the money is used to improve the facilities, services and amenities at or close to the area where the building is taking place. Infrastructure providers such as Lancashire County Council and the NHS state what they wish for a developer to pay. In this instance, money has been requested to support the reconfiguration and extension of Thornton Medical Centre and Beechwood surgery, to contribute towards play equipment on the recreational land on Bourne Way and to improve highway safety.
Update on Bourne Hill 21st September
We’re aware of the public interest in the archaeological findings at the Bourne Hill site in Thornton.
We would like to reassure the public that all work has proceeded in accordance with the standard process for managing archaeological sites in the planning process. Throughout this, the council has relied, as it always does, on the expertise of a specialist archaeology planning officer from Lancashire County Council’s Historic Environment Team. We’re working closely with Lancashire County Council to understand the significance of the archaeological finds and what happens to them.
Oxford Archaeology North (OAN) have been commissioned by the developer to conduct an archaeological survey which is a condition we would ask for before granting planning permission in this instance. To date the site appears to be that of a late Iron Age through to Romano-British settlement, estimated to date between 200 BC – 200 AD with findings being unearthed that show evidence of round house dwellings, burials of cremated individuals, fragments of probable late Iron Age pottery and an unusual ‘quernstone,’ which was a hand mill for grinding flour, featuring two holes in the top rather than the usual one hole.
Officers from the council have visited the site today to confirm the scale and nature of the works currently taking place. It has been confirmed that the archaeological works are now complete and the team from OAN will be leaving the site this week. OAN will then work on the post excavation assessment report of these excavated finds and the environmental samples from the site. The report, once finalised, will be made available to the public and will provide valuable insight into these discoveries and will outline what will be preserved and how.