Evidence of an Iron Age or Romano-British settlement has been discovered on a site which is at the centre of a greenspace court battle.

The findings have been revealed in an archaeological assessment of the site at Wills Gill in Guiseley.

Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum is fighting to stop development on Wills Gill and three other sites. Campaigners took their battle to the Royal Courts of Justice in London last month in a challenge to Leeds City Council’s Site Allocations Plan.

A spokesperson for the forum says: “The developers of the Wills Gill site in Guiseley have carried out an archaeological assessment which has revealed evidence of an Iron Age or Romano-British settlement on the land.

“We are discussing the findings with West Yorkshire Archaeology who have been keen to understand the evolution of the medieval township of Guiseley with its tofts and crofts. There is a shortage of research on this period in West Yorkshire.This is the second Iron Age/Romano-British site in Guiseley – there is another suspected in a field near Kelcliffe.”

The assessment found a number of small gullies dating to the Iron Age/Romano British period.

Shards of pottery dating back to the same period were recovered from the gullies.

The report says: “It is recommended that a programme of mitigation is undertaken within certain areas of the site to further characterise and date the Iron Age/ Romano-British features encountered.”

ANDF chairwoman Jennifer Kirkby said the evidence was likely to delay any development but said she doubted it was a significant enough site to have an effect on the proposals.

She added:”What all this does show, together with other comments that have been made by people such as the LCC Flooding and Drainage Team, is that this site (and the others in Aireborough) were not adequately assessed for sustainability by Leeds City Council before they chose their ‘most sustainable Green Belt sites’ for development.”