The Chinese corporation Huawei’s plan to build a microchip research and development centre in Cambridgeshire, UK, has faced resistance among experts fearing its construction might impact a “nationally important” Iron Age fort nearby. As The Telegraph reports, the land in Cambridgeshire that the company has purchased for its ambitious project borders the centuries-old fort Borough Hill, deemed a site of national importance under the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Areas Act 1979.
The company has already spent £37 million ($47 million) on the 550-acre plot where more than 400 employees are to design semiconductors, used in electronics. Although the company has not filed an application, the documents, cited by the outlet, show that it plans to surround the fort with its facility on three sides. Huawei is also reportedly planning to build a car park for more than 400 vehicles about 50 metres from the site.
But, as an inspector for Historic England put it in a letter addressed to the district council, the plan would “directly affect” the historical area. The outlet cites archeology professor Timothy Champion at the University of Southampton, saying that even though only the fort is a protected site, the territory outside its boundaries might also have something worth looking at. The Telegraph points out that local authorities could order the developer to conduct an archeological check before starting construction on the centre and reject the initial application if they are not content with the research results.
For its part, the company has pledged to hold “an environmental impact assessment” and denied that their project would have any impact on the site.