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Archaeologists to investigate site of proposed new Bishop's Stortford hotel

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Archaeologists must investigate the site of a proposed 29-bedroom budget hotel in Bishop’s Stortford before building can begin.

Experts at Hertfordshire County Council said the plot off Dunmow Road was next to an area where significant archaeological remains, including early Iron Age to Roman period pits, ditches and ring gullies, were observed before construction of the Woodside industrial park in 1992.

When Bishop’s Stortford Football Club’s ground was built at Woodside, archaeologists uncovered evidence of early/middle Iron Age occupation, while Dunmow Road, on the southern boundary of the site, follows the course of the Roman highway known as Stane Street, which ran east from Braughing to Stortford and ultimately to Colchester.

Woodlands Lodge
Woodlands Lodge

In the decision notice finally issued by East Herts Council in December, applicant Abben Investments was told careful investigation of the site’s history must be carried out and recorded as a condition of planning permission.

The hotel approved by the local planning authority is in addition to the Woodlands Lodge bed and breakfast, which has 11 beds. It was built in 1991 and extended in 2001.

Each room in the new accommodation will have twin beds, an en-suite shower room and a kitchenette.

A reception area will be sited on the ground floor along with a two-bedroom flat for the manager, laundry facilities and 14 rooms, with a further 15 on the upper floors.

Earlier plans for a 44-bed hotel were withdrawn by the applicant.

The approved scheme also includes parking for 56 cars, including three disabled spaces, as well as a refuse bin store and a covered rack for up to six bikes.

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