ENGLISH Heritage has expressed its concern about a housing development in the shadow of Ripon Cathedral, where finds possibly dating from the Roman period have been discovered.

Burley Developments Ltd is seeking planning permission to redevelop the site of the former Ripon Cathedral Church of England Primary School in Low Saint Agnesgate. The company wants to build a terraced block of four properties and a block of five apartments as well as office accommodation.

The company has submitted an archaeological evaluation of the site, highlighting finds on or close to the site.

Now North Yorkshire County Council's Heritage Unit has advised archaeological investigations should take place ahead of any development.

Pupils from the school are already in a replacement building just a short distance away in Cathedral Close.

The housing plans have sparked a string of objections, including 15 individual letters, while English Heritage has expressed concern.

Ripon City Council say they have consistently objected to the development because it is out of character with the area.

Some of the letters opposing the development highlight traffic dangers to schoolchildren, while others are concerned about the loss of the Victorian building, the height of the proposed development and adverse impact on the conservation area.

Members of Harrogate Borough Council's area planning committee meet on Tuesday to consider the application.

Planning officers are recommending refusal on the grounds that the scheme conflicts with a policy to avoid over provision of housing in the area.