Magna Park, Lutterworth

RPS CgMs was appointed by IDI Gazeley to manage the built heritage and archaeological aspects of a proposed extension to Magna Park, Lutterworth to accommodate DHL. The application area was located near Bittesby Deserted Medieval village, a Scheduled Monument and there were potential impacts upon Grade II* St Leonards Church and a number of other listed buildings and a conservation area.

RPS CgMs prepared a detailed archaeological desk-based assessment and Heritage Statement which addressed the setting issues raised by the proposed development to the satisfaction of both Historic England and the LPA. The project aimed for a collaborative approach to all key heritage stakeholders and involved frequent meetings with them at project milestones to ensure that the scheme evolved with heritage at its core.

The whole scheme was essentially drawn up with the Bittesby Scheduled Monument and Bittesby House, a non-designated building, put at the core of the design. In order to build a robust heritage baseline and following scoping of the ES, RPS CgMs commissioned Historic Building Recording, fieldwalking, geophysics and trial trenching in support of the application. The works on the DHL project allowed the agreement of a conditioned scheme for excavation of areas of archaeological interest within the development footprint. Throughout the project above and below ground heritage assets were interlinked.

Researching the significance of Bittesby House and the continuity of landscape use eventually allowed both the Monument and Bittesby House to be placed within a landscape known to have been habited since the Iron Age. As part of communicating the heritage interest in the site and building relationships with heritage groups, who may become involved in a future on-site heritage centre, a site tour and training day was arranged for the local community.