HORSE stables are set to be built on land designated as a scheduled ancient monument site.

Plans to build stables and change the use of land for horses to graze west of Station Road and South of Kiln Road, Ardleigh, have been approved by Tendring Council, despite objections from residents.

The site is three hectares in size and the land includes an extensive area of crop marks.

Archaeological investigations have demonstrated the remains of a multi-purpose settlement with agriculture, burial and industry dating back to the Romans and Saxons.

There have been a significant number of archaeological digs within 1km of the site.

The site was first discovered by Felix Erith in the 1950s when the farmland was mechanically ploughed for the first time uncovering Roman pottery and prehistoric cremation urns.

Due to the historic nature of the site and its location, residents have objected to the plans.

Sophie Chesters, of Kiln Road, Ardleigh also objected, saying: “The erection of stables on an area of archaeological significance causes great concern, as well as the potential knock-on effect of approving said application.

“The land bordering the field site could then have structures erected and further damage caused to the archaeological site.

“A concern would also be the manner to which the grazing livestock would then drink and access to water.

“Allowing the animals access to water would cause further significant disturbance on the land.”

Ardleigh Parish Council said in its objection to Tendring Council: “The site has archaeological significance and we would be concerned about damage to ancient structures.”

A planning statement submitted to Tendring Council said: “All the application site falls within land designated as a scheduled ancient monument, as such, a separate application has been made to Historic England for scheduled ancient monument consent.”