All construction work around the recently-discovered Neolithic stone row at Mynydd y Betws must come to an immediate halt, according to one of the UK’s leading heritage law experts.
Peter Alexander-Fitzgerald, of Rescue – The British Archaeological Trust – has called for Carmarthenshire county council to use its powers to stop all work until a full survey of the area is carried out.
“The planning authority should apply for an Article Four Direction under the Town and Country Planning Order to stop all further work on the site,” Mr Alexander-Fitzgerald told the Guardian.
“A full survey must be carried out.
“I find it incredible that the developer’s archaeologists found nothing of importance on the site – you would have to be blind to have missed this stone alignment.
“You do not even have to go there – the alignment is visible on Google Earth’s satellite pictures of the area.
“The developer’s archaeologists have obviously carried out a Level One desk-based assessment and reached the conclusion that there is nothing there to save.”
A Level One assessment involves examining paper records to discover what finds have previously been noted on the site. However it does not involve actually visiting or inspecting the site.
“A full Level Two survey needs to carried out at the site.”
“This alignment appears extremely reminiscent of similar ones found on Dartmooor and would possibly have a stone circle at one end.”
Mr Alexander-Fitzgerald confirmed that the discovery of the 500-yard stone row – believed to be up to 5,000 years old – could well point to the area being of huge archaeological and historical importance.
“I would be rather concerned that the view seems to be that there is only one thing up there. These things tend to be associated with other significant sites,” he added.
“It may be that none of the parts are of major significance on their own, but when put together, the various parts come to form a landscape of major importance.”
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