A PLAN to help better promote and protect Colchester’s one-of-a-kind Roman Circus is set to be approved.

Colchester Council’s local plan committee is set to approve the authority’s new Roman Circus Management Plan, which sets out the roles and responsibilities of the council and key stakeholders involved in protecting the heritage asset.

If approved, the management plan will be adopted as an official planning guidance document and be taken into account when future decisions are made in relation to the area.

The plan is designed to encourage the “conservation, enhancement, presentation, promotion and celebration” of the Roman Circus, while “protecting the site and its setting from the pressures of damage and commercial interest”.

Some of its key objectives include ensuring the circus remains publicly accessible, investigating new ways to showcase the attraction and ensuring future development in the area enhances the circus.

Model - how the Roman Circus would have looked

Model - how the Roman Circus would have looked

It could also see new interpretation panels and signage installed at strategic and publicly accessible locations.

A report, set to go before the committee on Thursday, states: “The plan is intended to be a dynamic document and the actions may be adapted in response to changes in management context over the life of the plan.

“It is proposed each year an action plan is developed which outlines the actions which are to be delivered over the forthcoming year by the relevant partners.”

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The Roman Circus, which is more than 2,000-years-old, was discovered in 2005 within the site of the old garrison and is a scheduled ancient monument.

This means it receives the same status and protection as other heritage sites such as Colchester Castle, the Balkerne Gate and the Roman Walls.

It is the only known example found to this day in Britain.

Unique - Colchester Archaeological Trust director Philip Crummy

Unique - Colchester Archaeological Trust director Philip Crummy

Separate plans to extend the Garrison Conservation Area to include the defunct Army Base Repair Organisation site, as well as Colchester Archaeological Trust’s home Roman Circus House and Artillery Folley, are also set to be approved by the committee.

This extension will help protect the surviving military buildings and the setting of the Roman Circus, with the MoD planning to dispose of the site, which could lead to new homes being built in the area.

Both plans went out to public consultation earlier this year with no objections raised to either by members of the public.

The committee will vote on whether to approve the plans on Thursday.

Residents can find out more about the Roman Circus Management Plan at www.colchester.gov.uk/romancircus.