The archaeological excavation of the site on Downham Road, where East Cambridgeshire District Council is hoping to build a new leisure facility for the District, will start this week on Monday 16th May.
At the request of the Cambridgeshire County Council Historic Environment Team, the whole 2.8 hectare site will be excavated because it is located in an area of high archaeological potential.
The work is being carried out by Cambridge Archaeological Unit, part of the University of Cambridge and is expected to take 13 weeks.
Cllr Richard Hobbs, Chairman of the Commercial Services Committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council said: “Work has not yet commenced on building the new leisure centre as the proposal is yet to go before Full Council.
“People may notice diggers on the site as the archaeological dig is taking place. This is a first and necessary step for the site if the building of the new leisure centre is to go ahead. It is, of course, very important to preserve any archaeological finds before any potential building work begins at the site.
“I sincerely hope that the proposed leisure centre does go ahead as the whole community of East Cambridgeshire is a rapidly growing area and it would be a fantastic resource for the community. It is hoped we will have an eight-lane, 25 metre swimming pool, two dance studios, a four-court sports hall, an all-weather pitch and a 120 station cardio gym.
“We have a wonderful historic city and we love to welcome tourists into the area, but now I hope we will put something back into the community for our residents to enjoy.”
The archaeological work taking place is a requirement of the planning permission to ensure that archaeological remains are suitably recorded before development takes place.
The leisure centre reserved matters application will be presented at the Council’s June Planning Committee meeting.