Intervene to save this important site.
MONMOUTH Archaeological Society calls on Cadw - the Welsh Government's heritage agency - to intervene to safeguard a potentially extremely important archaeological site in the face of the perverse opposition of official archaeological advisers.
The site, on the Rockfield Road, Monmouth, was given planning permission without a condition for an archaeological watching brief after Monmouthshire's advisers, Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust, said that such a condition would be "excessively onerous". It rejected the advice of its contractors, Orion Heritage, that a watching brief was acceptable to the developer "and could be secured by an appropriately worded planning condition".
It is vital there should be archaeological cover on this site because it is just a stone's throw from where Stone Age discoveries of European importance were made during construction work. Parc Glyndwr and the Rockfield Road site lie on the bed of a huge lake that once covered the bowl in which Monmouth sits. It surely defies common sense to think that Stone Age activity was limited to a small part of the lake.
It should now be up to Cadw to investigate why GGAT is so strongly opposed to a simple watching brief. GGAT is only too keen to pile this onerous duty on to small householders in situations where nothing is likely to be found. Consistency, if nothing else, should lead it to insist on one when it is dealing with the big boys - especially when the site is as potentially important as this one.
Stephen Clarke Chairman Monmouth Archaeological Society