Thursday, June 30, 2011

Archaeological dig launched under car park

An archaeological dig is under way at a city centre site earmarked for redevelopment.

Specialists will be exploring the area under the Sawclose car park for three weeks to see what historical evidence is there.

A private car park behind the public spaces opposite the Theatre Royal will be shut completely while spaces in the council car park will be cut during the project.

For part of the work, which started on Monday, seven bays out of 24 will be unavailable and this will be extended to eight later in the project.

The work is being carried out by Cotswold Archaeology following an electronic scan of the council-owned land last year, which identified a need to carry out excavation work.

Charles Whateley, development consultant for developer Penhalt, which will be working with Cotswold Archeology on the project, said it would help shape future building on the site.

He said: "We are trying to keep disruption to a minimum while we carry out these exploratory archaeological digs."

He added: "They will inform the shape of any future building on the site and ensure there's no damage to any archaeological deposits."

Penhalt and development partner Deeley Freed own the freehold of the former health clinic at Sawclose, while the car parks and other properties are owned by Bath and North East Somerset Council.

The firms have long been keen to redevelop the area with a cafe society-style piazza, while Great Eastern Quays Casino is applying for a licence to operate a casino in a scheme which would also involve the Gala bingo hall.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

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