Cold storage facility expansion at Turners of Soham could lead to ‘archaeological investigation’

Haulage company Turners of Soham will have to undergo an archaeological investigation before extensi

Haulage company Turners of Soham will have to undergo an archaeological investigation before extension plans. Picture: STEVE WILLIAMS - Credit: Archant

Haulage company Turners of Soham will have to undergo an archaeological investigation before extending a cold storage facility, lorry park and office.

Plans were submitted to build an 8,982 square metre frozen goods warehouse with replacement parking, which would create 18 new full time jobs at the site in Fordham Road.

Around £15,000 for bus and pedestrian improvements on Newmarket Road is also included as part of the scheme.

However, archaeological experts at Cambridgeshire County Council say they are “particularly concerned” about the “confirmed presence of human skeletal remains and funerary monuments in close proximity to the areas outlined for development”.

It comes as plans are set for approval at East Cambridgeshire District Council on January 9 as long as conditions - including the investigation - are carried out.

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The proposed extension and lorry park are in the northwest corner of the existing compound, with the lorry park being on land currently left as agricultural.

Experts say that an ‘archaeological programme of work’ would need to take place before work is proposed to get underway in spring.

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Planning documents state: “There is highly important potential archaeology on the site that could be lost or damaged by the proposal.

“We wish to work with Turners to expedite an evaluation of this area so that any detailed excavation of significant archaeological evidence can occur.”

Concerns were also raised about views from the north of the site and whether a change to frozen goods would increase or decrease the amount of lorries entering and leaving the site.

Planning documents add: “The developer has stated that it seeks to convert 5,000 chilled pallets to frozen that will reduce the amount of lorry movements from 412 lorry movements per week to 43.

“The evidence submitted also states that this significant reduction is based on the fact that frozen goods have a nine week frozen storage period - this provides the more substantial decrease in lorry movements

“The development would lead to approximately the reduction in lorry movements by a half entering and leaving the site.”

The current Turners site is primarily two sets of large buildings surrounding a central courtyard where lorries manoeuvre and access the road to the south of the site.

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