AN application has been submitted to build five new homes in St Bees - but there are concerns the development may impact upon archaeological remains in the area.

According to documents in the Cumberland Council planning portal, the new homes would be built on a site south of Abbey Road.

The application's design and access statement states that 11 new homes were approved for roadside land just north of the application site in July 2010.

"This application is for a small-scale residential development comprising five detached dwellings on a parcel of land to the south of the original scheme of 11 dwellings," the statement says.

"The site is located within the settlement boundary and is also within the defined limits of the St Bees Conservation Area."

Three of the five new homes would be five-bedroom properties, the other two would be four-bedroom.

Application documents include a heritage statement and a 'desk-based' archaeological evaluation report.

Given the historic nature of the surroundings, an historic environment officer from the council has responded to the application.

"The site lies in an area of archaeological potential that is located close to the site of an early medieval nunnery and to the 12th century medieval Benedictine priory," she wrote in her response.

"Archaeological investigations undertaken in the 1970s and 80s immediately adjacent to the application site have shown that buried medieval remains, including outbuildings of the priory, survive in a good state of preservation.

"Consequently, there are reasonable grounds to consider that the construction of the proposed development will impact upon significant archaeological assets."

The officer has advised that an archaeological evaluation of the site should be commissioned before a decision is made.