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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 June 2006, 19:41 GMT 20:41 UK
Dig team give site the all-clear
Coatham development
The project will create 200 jobs
Archaeologists brought in to investigate a site earmarked for development have found nothing that could halt the work.

Redcar's Coatham Links development will include more than 300 houses, a leisure complex and performance centre.

Diggers were brought in to make sure there were no more artefacts left at the former 12th Century settlement.

But experts from Tyne and Wear Museums have not found anything of significance, council chiefs revealed.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's development partner, Persimmon Homes, commissioned the investigation as part of the preparatory work for the planning application due later this year

Keeper of field archaeology, Gary Brogan, said the team had dug out seven trenches across the site to look for relics.

Geophysical study

Mr Brogan said: "It is standard practice these days for developers to engage archaeologists and other specialists to study sites before construction work begins.

"We chose the seven sites by looking at anomalies thrown up by a geophysical study.

"We are trying to find out what their origin is, whether it is archaeological or geological, and as such we are looking for evidence of human occupation in the upper part of the soil."

The settlements, known as Outstcotum and Westcotum, became a centre of salt manufacturing in the medieval period and supplied Guisborough Priory.

The new development is promised to create 200 jobs, but has proved controversial amongst nearby residents.

Protesters have claimed the council has insufficient money for the leisure facilities and that the housing scheme is high risk.

The council has consistently rejected the concerns.


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