A HOUSING development planned for land where Roman remains were found has been on hold after councillors requested a site visit.

Persimmon wants to build 96 homes and public open space on land in Staverton, where Roman artefacts and a possible prehistoric settlement have been found, along with human remains.

Cotswold Archaeology is cleaning and analysing artefacts found on site, which will eventually be donated to Trowbridge Museum.

Members of West Wiltshire District Council's planning committee will visit the piece of land between New Terrace and Marina Drive, formerly used as arable land, after requesting a site visit at a meeting on Thursday.

The application before the committee was for reserved matters, the fine bones of the development, as permission for housing has already been granted.

An archaeological evaluation includes a condition of outline planning permission for housing is ongoing.

Persimmon said prehistoric and Roman activities are confined to the northern third of the site and will not affect plans to build the homes, which it had hoped to start work on early this year.

But councillors have delayed matters by asking for a site visit.

There are concerns over the height and density of the homes.

Persimmon wants to build a mixture of one, two, three, four and five-bedroom homes, ranging from detached, semi-detached and terraced to flats and flats above garages. The buildings will vary in height ranging from two to three-storeys.

The planned density would be 36 homes per hectare.

Original plans were for around 60 homes but a planning inspector said around 90 would be more appropriate at an appeal inquiry. Affordable housing will make-up 30 per cent of the development.

A link road would run diagonally across the site, while an area of land to the south of the site has been earmarked for public open space, including a children's play area.

Staverton Parish Council is opposed to the development on several grounds including inadequate parking facilities, concerns over existing gas and sewer pipes and fears the link road will be more of a tunnel, due to the number of tall buildings flanking it.

A statement from the council said: "Councillors are particularly concerned that both Blacklands and the Staverton Triangle developments are not blighted by the parking problems and issues experienced elsewhere on the marina."

In addition, consideration has to be paid to badger setts, found on the edge of the site.