HISTORIC England has objected to a proposal to build 100 homes on historic land on the edge of a conservation area it argues should be protected in Warminster.

Historic England said there was no layout that would make a 100 home new development acceptable on the land East of Dene due to historic assets in and around the area.

Although the site is not in a conservation area, Historic England argued the “encroaching suburbanisation” of the land would harm the historic assets in the area.

A Neolithic flint factory and a 17th Century wall that runs all the way from Bishopstrow Hotel to the middle of Warminster would be affected by the development. 45m of the wall could be knocked down to create an access route into the proposed housing development. The site would be a single access using this point.

Speaking during today’s Wiltshire Housing Site Allocation Plan Examination held at the civic Centre in Trowbridge by inspector Steven Lee a spokesman for Historic England said: “ This development would cause less than substantial harm, however all harm should have great weight on the conservation heritage asset. Irrespective of whether that harm is less than substantial, it should be given great weight. We don’t feel able to suggest a common ground layout that would accommodate 100 homes and therefore feel this site shouldn’t be included as a site within the plan.”

Nick Mathews from Savills representing developers, said: “We would reuse what of the wall is there. From where it starts at Home Farm it varies quite a lot in its character.

A Wiltshire Council planning officer said: “There may be a need to punch through the wall but the wall could then be realigned using materials currently there to create a highly designed access which would not lose the integrity of the wall but would meet guidance.”

Nick Parker, chair of East Boreham Resident Action Group said: “There is a history of Wiltshire Council rejecting this site. The local population since 1998 have been against this site it provides no infrastructure and increases strain on cross town traffic, health fire and ambulance and cemeteries.”

Mr Lee will continue to inspect the Wiltshire Housing Allocation Site Plan over the next two weeks.