April 6, 2021 12.25 pm This story is over 14 months old

Controversial Norton Disney site to be dug up in search of ancient mysteries

Plans resubmitted to build animal rendering plant there

The controversial Norton Disney site where developers want to build an animal rendering plant is going to be dug up by archaeologists this week to search for ancient artefacts.

On April 8, Norton Disney’s History and Archaeology Group will start a new excavation at the site off Folly Lane using geo-physical detection equipment and will dig trenches to uncover the mystery of a large enclosure feature discovered last September on a geophysics survey.

The archaeology group made a successful application to Historic England in August 2020 to extend the boundaries protecting the villa after it was discovered during the previous planning application the villa was much bigger than previously thought.

The six hectare site was discovered in 1933 and was excavated in 1934 and 1935. Over the years, artefacts and remains have been found dating back as far as the Bronze Age.

In 1989, a bronze figurine of a mounted Roman warrior was uncovered called Mars Thingus. This figurine is now exhibited in the British Museum.

In February this year, Lincoln Proteins Ltd resubmitted a planning application for an animal rendering plant at Villa Farm on Folly Lane in Norton Disney.

Lincolnshire County Council’s planning committee unanimously refused initial plans in February 2020 following concerns over heritage and location.

There were fears the facility would “overshadow” the Lancaster Bomber gateway sculpture being built off the A46.

When the plans were originally submitted, there were objections from both local residents and North Kesteven District Council over odour and location. The county council received 1,105 letters of objection.

Villa Farm proposed development.

In February this year, plans were unanimously approved to demolish an existing animal by-products processing plant and build a new processing plant at the farm on Jerusalem Road in Skellingthorpe, which Lincoln Proteins Ltd rent from the Leo Group.

Alan Asker, operations manager, previously said: “Lincoln Proteins remain committed to a project which offers sustainable jobs within the food manufacturing industry, a vital addition to the Lincolnshire economy in times such as these.”

The new dig will start at 10am on Thursday April 8 at Folly Lane, Norton Disney LN6 9JP and will last two days.