COUNCILLORS seem set to approve controversial plans to build 24 houses on a site which residents say could contain prehistoric archaeological treasures.
Some 417 people have objected to proposals for the development on Wincobank Hill, off Sandstone Road - but council officers have recommended the plans be approved at a Town Hall meeting on Monday.
The site lies 200 metres south of the Iron Age Wincobank hill fort and objectors say it is likely the site contains historical remains which could be destroyed by the building work.
They also think it is on the line of the Roman Ridge, a 10-mile linear earthwork thought to be have been built as a defensive structure between Sheffield and Kimberworth, Rotherham.
The 24 three-bedroom houses proposed by Investates Development are opposed by community groups including the Friends of Wincobank Hill, Sandstone Road Residents’ Forum, Love Wincobank Campaign, the Hunter Archaeological Society and the Sheffield Ramblers.
The Friends of Wincobank Hill, in a letter to councillors, wrote: “We are committed to protecting Wincobank Hill, not only from the damage done by off-road traffic and litter dumping, but from the far greater threat of the creeping housing development on this unique heritage site.
“For some the hill is a part of their personal history, for others it is a subject of academic interest, an education resource or simply a precious amenity for exercise.”
But an officer report to be considered by councillors on the city centre, south and east planning board, said there is no proof sites of historical interest would be impacted.
“Given there is no firm evidence the Roman Ridge crossed the site, it would be unreasonable to resist this development on this basis,” officers said.
They also said the development ‘would not have a harmful impact’ on the hill fort.