ARCHAEOLOGY studies at the potential site of a new wind farm have started.

Wind Prospect Developments Ltd, the company behind plans to build four 127-metre high wind turbines on land near Oldbury, has started work on the proposed site.

The archaeology studies at Stoneyard Lane, off Hill Lane, are to establish whether the site has any archaeological potential.

The work is being carried out following discussions with South Gloucestershire Council and English Heritage, one of the project’s statutory consultees.

Sophie Nioche, development manager at Wind Prospect, said the request for the archaeology studies was standard practice.

She said: "This additional work will give the council more information on the archaeological aspect of the project, which it will use when considering the planning application.

"We are encouraged by the fact that none of our statutory consultees, including Natural England, The Environment Agency, the Civil Aviation Authority and Forest of Dean District Council, has objected to the application."

The archaeology studies will be carried out in three phases, starting with a geophysical survey that will look for different shapes under the ground that may indicate archaeological features. Data from this will be used to identify locations for boreholes to collect information.

This will be followed by trial trenching, which involves digging a small trench or trenches to look for any archaeological remains. These trenches will be at the turbine locations. The work is likely to be completed by the spring.

Ms Nioche said: "The UK has a target to generate 15 per cent from renewable energy sources by 2020. On a local level, South Gloucestershire is behind on its own renewable energy targets and Stoneyard Lane would help address this while providing clean energy for around 5,500 homes."