PLANS to build more than 100 homes within the setting of Oswestry’s hillfort are expected imminently.

Galliers Homes has revealed it is working on proposals to build up to 117 homes on land off Whittington Road as supported controversially by Shropshire Council’s SAMDev plan.

Campaigners said the site should not be included in the plan because of its proximity to the Iron Age structure and the protected Wat’s Dyke, as well as its use in the First World War to provide practice trenches as part of the adjacent Park Hall Camp.

Documents from the unitary authority have confirmed the heritage impact will need to be examined as part of any planning application.

Phillip Mullineux, principal planning officer at Shropshire Council, noted that the site is “sensitive in relation to historic and archaeological matters”.

He continued: “The Oswestry Hillfort is a unique historic setting and landscape landmark that will require detailed consideration in relation to impacts on its setting and consideration to any mitigation in the form of landscaping.

“As such a specific heritage impact assessment in relation to the hillfort and the surrounding historic built and landscape environment will be required in support of any formal application for development on site as proposed.”

Galliers say they plan to bring the housing estate to fruition in two phases.

The first will seek full planning permission for around 50 to 60 homes, while the second will seek outline permission for the same number of homes.

The site – also known as OSW004 – was included in Shropshire Council’s 2015 SAMDev plan which identified land across the county that could be used for residential and employment purposes up to 2026.

Meanwhile, campaign group Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort (HOOOH) has called for “a fair hearing and transparent process” once the applications are submitted.

A spokesperson said: “The development would clearly change the setting of two scheduled monuments – Old Oswestry and Wat’s Dyke – while lying within one of the most visually and archaeologically significant zones of the hillfort’s ancient landscape.

“Running underneath OSW004 is a rare system of First World War practice trenches associated with Park Hall training camp, similar to the buried trenches on top of Old Oswestry.

“The hillfort’s eastern landscape is distinguished by other historical assets including Thomas Telford’s landmark London to Holyhead (A5) road, the Cambrian Heritage Railway and Vyrnwy Aqueduct.

“Over 100 findspots of artefacts and heritage assets are recorded within the vicinity of the hillfort supporting the known archaeology.

“In addition, Oldport Farm is listed as one of Shropshire’s historic farmsteads.”