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Approval needed for orchard work
1:47pm Wed Dec 19, 2012
 
Planting, the installation of interpretation boards and other alterations cannot be made to recently-bought land in Southwell until clearance is given by English Heritage.
Southwell Town Council, heritage groups and Mr Frederick Ardron bought the site, known as the orchard, next to the former Church Street site of The Minster School, for the town.

More than half of the site, which contains Roman remains including six rooms of mosaic floor tiles, is listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Mrs Sue Rodgers, chairman of the council’s parks and open spaces working group, said permission was needed from English Heritage before the site was disturbed in any way.

She said: “Up to 50% of the area is a Scheduled Ancient Monument so we cannot do anything except surface planting — and that excludes the planting or uprooting of trees — and the other 50% is classed as being a sensitive area adjacent to a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

“We need to hold off on doing anything until we find out what we can and cannot do.”

Mrs Rodgers said they were investigating how much of the land had actually been purchased because it was unclear where the boundaries were.

She said in the future they hoped to work with Southwell Minster to open the area up as part of the renovations to the Archbishop’s Palace.

Mrs Rodgers said there was other work that needed to be done, including removing pathways and steps, but all would have to wait for a response from English Heritage.

Mr Roger Dobson wanted to install an interpretation board to tell people why the land had been bought and why it was important.

He said: “It is a desperately important space in terms of the history of the town. I know a lot of things are going to take time but it would be good to put something up as soon as possible.”

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