Developers will protect Roman villa unearthed in Cam

image captionRemains of the Roman villa were uncovered last summer at the Millfields site in Cam

A Roman villa unearthed during building work will be preserved after developers agreed to "re-plan" the estate.

More than 6,000 people signed a petition to save the remains discovered by archaeologists working on behalf of Bovis Homes in Cam, Gloucestershire.

The firm said experts had told them the remains did not qualify for preservation but it had since "found a compromise".

Campaigner Christie McLean said the news was "fantastic".

'Community spirit'

Bovis Homes said it would change its plans "so that there will be no homes or hard-standing on the ground above the site of the villa's remains".

Nigel Lush, from the company, said: "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."

image captionChristie McLean said "people really didn't want to back down from this"

He said the plans included turning the land above the structure into a public space, with information boards and a virtual tour outlining what was discovered beneath the ground.

BBC TV presenter and archaeology expert Professor Mark Horton was among those who called for the villa to be saved, describing it as "a very important discovery".

Ms McLean, who started the petition to save the villa, said: "I think it's fantastic. They've [Bovis Homes] joined the community spirit and they've made changes in accordance with what the locals would like."

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