Work cannot commence on a major new housing development in Carrick until it is examined by archaeologists, it has been stated.
The Department of Communities’ Historic Environment Division has said that this programme must be prepared by a qualified expert in this field, submitted by the applicant and approved by the Department before any work can commence.
It is understood that previous tests of the area in 2010 suggested that there may have been “substantial activity” on the site during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages.
A Department spokesman was commenting on a plan for the site of a 300 home at Bashfordlands earmarked for one of the biggest schemes to be built in Northern Ireland since the property crash in 2008.
He said: “No site works of any nature or development shall take place until a programme of archaeological work has been implemented, in accordance with a written scheme and programme prepared by a qualified archaeologist, submitted by the applicant and approved by the Department.”
Plans for the Bashforde Park Village include a mix of detached and semi-detached homes, townhouses and apartments, a community building and play park.
The high-end properties are being planned by Farland Development Company on a 32.6 acre site on two “parcels” of land between Red Fort Drive, Broadlands and Portsmouth Gardens.
Two pre-application public consultations were held at Ulidia Integrated College earlier this year. Farland Development Company currently operates in England and Northern Ireland.