CONCERNS have been raised about plans for a seasonal camping site as the land lies in “an area of high archaeological potential.”

Allerdale Borough Council has received an application to change the use of land in Bowness On Solway from agricultural to leisure.

The owners of Wallsend Guest House have submitted the request with plans to place 16 seasonal tent pitches on the land.

The guest house is already a successful and well established business but the owners hope to diversify their leisure offering.

In their proposal submitted to the council, the applicants said: “Guests who will use the proposed camping site will be a mixture of walkers embarking on the Hadrian’s Wall Trail and couples/small groups who will use the facility as a base camp for exploring the general area and the Lakes.

“It is not the intention to have a typical “Family “campsite. Clients who would use the facility would typically stay from one to five nights before continuing their journey.”

But during the consultation process, Cumbria County Council’s Historic Environment Officer Jeremy Parsons, has advised that the plans could impact remains of ancient Rome.

In a letter to the case officer, he said: “Our records indicate that the site lies in an area of high archaeological potential.

"It is located between the buried remains of the Roman fort at Bowness and Hadrian’s Wall, both of which are legally protected as scheduled monuments and form part of the World Heritage Site.

Mr Parsons said: “The site itself is not designated, but remains of the Roman civilian settlement that lay along a road leading from the fort have recently been found 50 metres away and these remains may extend within the site. Given the site’s close proximity to nationally significant archaeological assets there is the possibility that assets of similar significance survive within the application area.”

The county council officer called for more detail on the plans to determine the potential impact on any such Roman finds.

The applicant however, believes that the proposal would have a positive impact in the area. They said: “It is hoped that the proposed Camping Site will alleviate the issue of ‘wild camping’ in the local area which has increased due to the recent demand of UK staycation’s.”

The public can view and comment on all applications submitted to the council for approval.

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