The district council’s planning committee is now being asked to approve the demolition of the church and the creation of the 23 car parking spaces – on behalf of the district council.

Dorchester Town Council planning committee have decided to raise no objection to the demolition but have called for an archaeological assessment before work starts.

Cllr Hosford backs the call for the archaeological study but would also like to see some thought given to other uses for the site and said: “The acquisition and demolition of the church building was originally part of the latest of the succession of ambitious plans to develop Charles Street – as there is currently nothing ‘on the table’ it seems premature to demolish it without first exploring whether it could be put to some sort of community use.”

Cllr Alistair Chisholm also represents the ward and says he would like to see a community dig at the site, undertaken by volunteers and supervised by a professional archaeologist.

“It is very likely that further neolithic post holes could be found together with the Roman and later medieval layers of the town’s story. At a time when the town council have agreed that more should be made of our long and fascinating story and Dorchester’s many and varied literary, legal and royal associations, now would be a good time,” he said.

"Our future does not lie entirely in our past, but it is high time the intriguing evidence of that past was treated with the respect it deserves. That much needed sea change could and should start with a proper investigation.”

This is all park of the new development plan at Charles Street, which also includes the creation of twenty three new car parking spaces.