A PLAN has been drawn up to preserve the remains of a Roman villa uncovered last summer at Bovis Homes’ Cam location, Millfields, following a meeting at the site with councillors, planners, archaeologists and representatives from the housebuilder.

With the structure already starting to deteriorate because of its exposure to the elements, designers and archaeologists will act promptly to finalise the plan and implement it to save the structure from further damage.

Bovis Homes has moved to replan their development so that there will be no homes or hardstanding on the ground above the site of the villa’s remains.

Instead, it has been agreed that the structure should be carefully covered back over, with the land above becoming a public space that will host a special plaque and information boards outlining what has been discovered beneath the ground.

Before the site is covered over, there will be a day set aside to allow escorted tours of the remains for members of the public, arranged through Cam Parish Council.

A specially-made video will be created by Bovis Homes and placed online to provide a virtual tour of the villa structure that will be available for years to come.

Local ward councillor Jessica Tomblin said: “I would like to thank Bovis Homes for recognising the importance of this piece of heritage to Cam and our local community with their positive response that the villa will be preserved.

“I am pleased to have been able to bring the relevant people together at short notice, and it was great to meet and talk to specialists in this area.

"This solution preserves the remains and also offers a wonderful opportunity for the community and future generations to learn about the Roman villa.”

Fellow ward councillor Paul Denney said: “I welcome the development and am waiting to see in what format the preservation will take.”

Toby Catchpole, heritage team leader at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We’re pleased to hear that Bovis is looking to preserve the Roman Villa in Cam.

"There is clearly strong public feeling that this find is important to the local community, with wider public interest, so it’s great that they have listened to this and are looking to make adjustments.”

Bovis Homes regional technical director Nigel Lush added: “Everyone has come at this challenge with a commitment to work together to try and find a practical solution.

“In terms of the villa’s preservation and the public’s health and safety, leaving the remains exposed to the elements was not a feasible option but we believe we have found a compromise that allows the community to enjoy the villa and find out more about Cam’s history.

"Going forward it may be out of sight, but with all the supporting information materials available, it will not be out of mind.”