"Growing anger over new development on top of prehistoric monument" ITV
I want to put this in context so you can be properly pissed. The developer and land owner already knew of the existence of the Neolithic ditched enclosure. Features like this are clearly marked on the plat, the geological-topographical survey, county maps, archaeological surveys and numerous other documents. > and websites Megalithic UK
Most of the time, springs, mines, small cemeteries, old wells and other such features are marked on the documents used to transfer property. So if you want to build a warehouse, don't buy a tract and pretend you didn't know there was a 4,000 year old ditched enclosure when you signed the papers.
As a land owner, depending on the country, you have full legal rights to a tract of land including all minerals, water courses, surface and timber rights, so long as they are properly conveyed without reservations. However, if that tract of land contains a small cemetery or items of archaeological significance you do not have the power to control those because they ARE THE NATURAL RESERVATION of the former owners (or at least a public interest). You don't have rights to certain waters, easements or public concerns, like hunting endangered species or damming up a navigable creek.
What has happened here is that the developer is claiming that he has been unfairly burdened by the "discovery of an relatively unimportant archaeological site" and that rescue archaeology is the reasonable compromise to satisfy archaeology and development. Look closely at what their doing.
Here's the thing. Try to build a picket fence in the village of Cotton without fifty permits from the county and get shot down every time because of the thrity thousand regulations in the building code. This is a fast-talking company that is twisting the ethical norms for a cheap return. They give two shits about the local people or their heritage.
The long term damage isn't the loss of one archaeological site, it's that the very concept of rescue archaeology is damaged by shenanigans like this. Plus the definition of what rescue archaeology is expanded from "oh crap, our dozer hit a stone cist" to one in which the archaeologists drive up to a site driving a cement mixer. The mutual cooperation and trust between developers, archaeologists, city planners, private property owners, and the citizenry is eroded. That isn't good for anybody.