Site to return to farmland

The site of a archeological dig on land at Littlethorpe.
The site of a archeological dig on land at Littlethorpe.

Developers say land earmarked for 900 homes and dug up as part of an archeological study is being returned to its original state.

Concerned residents had contacted the Star last month when diggers began appearing on land at Little Thorpe, fearing a planned housing scheme was a “done deal”, which developers denied, and that the land was being spoilt.

Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP), acting on behalf of Stockton-based Southlands Management had said the JCBs working on the site were carrying out archaeological studies in advance of any planning permission potentially being given.

This week, Neil Westwick, associate director at NLP, denied rumours that evidence of a Roman or Iron Age settlement had been found on the land, as claimed by an Easington Village resident.

He said: “There were some archeological items found on the site but nothing of archeological significance, nothing of note.”

The diggers were due back on site this week to fill in the trenches and return the land back to agricultural land.

Mr Westwick said pieces of flint were found but these will be recorded and a report of findings will be sent to Durham County Council as part of the application, and the council’s archeological team will make recommendations. No date has yet been set to hear the application.