ROMAN REMAINS THREATEN EXPANSION OF QUARRY; Site Could Contain Underground Historic Treasures of National Importance

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Byline: By Jenny Waddington

MULTI-MILLION pound plans to double the size of a huge Warwickshire quarry could be delayed and scaled down after rare Roman remains were identified.

Archaeologists have discovered the Rugby site could contain underground historic treasures of national importance.

An evaluation of Ling Hall Quarry, in Coalpit Lane, Lawford Heath, is now being carried out after crop marks gave clues to a wealth of history beneath the land.

The site contains crop mark patterns which resemble a significant structure of Roman date - possibly a villa, temple or farmstead.

Aerial photographs revealed the crop marks - marks left in fields caused by vegetation growing at different rates.

The discovery was made following a planning application by Derby-based Ennstone Johnston Ltd to Warwickshire County Council to extend the quarry on an extra 83 hectares of agricultural land to the north east of the existing site.

The proposed extension would release about 2.6m tonnes of sand and gravel to be dug up over 10 years. But the archaeological discovery could result in planners restricting the size of the quarry's extension. The government could now also call a planning inquiry - which would delay the scheme by at least a year.

Some concerns have also been raised about noise, dust and pollution, and extra traffic using local roads including Lawford Heath Lane. …