ROMAN artefacts have been found during the first stages of a housing development.

The discoveries were made when Cala Homes was carrying out initial groundwork for 198 homes on land north of Station Road in Fordingbridge.

Despite finding evidence of Roman settlement, the developer said work will "continue as planned" and the approved site layout "remains unaffected".

The findings are now in the hands of archaeologists for assessment and evaluation.

Bournemouth Echo: An artist's impression of Cala Homes' development.An artist's impression of Cala Homes' development. (Image: Cala Homes (Thames))

Plans for the site were given the green light by the New Forest District Council in November 2023 despite receiving 157 objections.

Most of these concerns were about traffic along Fordingbridge high street, pressure on infrastructure and overload on local services, such as GPs.

Other respondents highlighted the impact on wildlife and the surrounding environment due to overdevelopment, and a loss of privacy.

A spokesperson for Cala Homes said: "Evidence of Roman settlement has been discovered during the initial groundwork at our Fordingbridge development.

"This in line with our expectations and we are working closely with the County archaeologist to assess and evaluate these findings.

"Work to develop the site will continue as planned and our approved layout remains unaffected.”