Is there a ‘mammoth’ reason to halt new homes in Louth?

Could the remains of a mammoth lie beneath a proposed housing site in Louth?
Could the remains of a mammoth lie beneath a proposed housing site in Louth?

Louth Town Council has objected to plans to build 13 new homes off Monks’ Dyke Road - following ecological concerns, and claims that the fossilised remains of a mammoth may lie beneath.

The proposal, submitted by Lincs Design Consultancy on behalf of Mr. J. Thompson, Mr. R. Thompson & Mrs. E. Burkitt, would see three detached bungalows and 10 detached houses, plus garages and vehicular/pedestrian access, being built on land to the west of the playing fields adjacent to Monks’ Dyke Road.

An illustrative plan of the proposed homes. For context, the Meridian Leisure Centre can be seen to the bottom-right.

An illustrative plan of the proposed homes. For context, the Meridian Leisure Centre can be seen to the bottom-right.

One neighbouring resident, Maxim Griffin, wrote to East Lindsey District Council’s planning department to object to the proposals on ecological grounds - and also claimed that the fossilised remains of a mammoth which died ‘14,000 years ago’ lie beneath the site.

Mr Griffin’s letter of objection states: “The potential development will have a catastrophic effect on the considerable wildlife and flora, who have occupied the field since it fell fallow. The hedgerows alone should have a preservation order on them.

“There is also evidence of prehistoric activity in the immediate surroundings, not to mention the monastic associations. The field is a very rare example of a kind of accidental wilderness. A heron lurks there.

“It is be deeply troubling to think that this could be the last spring in which the hawthorns blossom.

“The development will probably go ahead anyway, concrete and cheap red bricks above the fossilised remains of the mammoth who died there 14,000 years ago.”

The Leader understands that flint arrowheads and potential fragments of mammoth bone have been discovered around the site in years gone by.

Town Clerk, Lynda Phillips, confirmed that members of Louth Town Council’s planning committee resolved to object to the application at their meeting last Tuesday evening (April 2) - partly due to the archaeological concerns raised by Mr Griffin.

The Town Clerk told the Leader: “The Council resolved to object as it has concerns (with reference to) the loss of ecological habitats, traffic generation, access and highway safety, and - due to neighbour’s comments - suggests that a proper archaeological survey should be obtained.”

Andrew Clover, director at Lincs Design Consultancy, said the applicants will comply with any formal request for an investigation.

Mr Clover told the Leader: “It is impossible to speculate as to whether there is any archaeology below the site.

“As with all proposals, we await the expert comments from the Historic Environment Team at Lincolnshire County Council; who are consulted on all applications by the Planning Department.

“If any investigation is required by the County Council this will dealt with accordingly.”