AN ARCHAEOLOGY expert has backed the controversial plan to install polo pitches at the end of a quiet Marlow country lane - in order to protect a possible ancient burial mound.

Eliza Alqassar, Bucks County Council’s archaeological officer, has recommended the proposals for the practice pitches near Harley ford Lane go ahead.

She claims using the land for polo instead of farming will help preserve Neolithic or Bronze Age ‘ring mounds’, which archaeologists suspect may lie beneath the surface.

According to a geophysical survey, the farm may be hiding ritual, burial or settlement artefacts, as well as evidence of late Stone Age activity.

Residents are opposed to the plans, which they say will lead to an increase in HGV traffic along a lane popular with walkers and cyclists.

Land owners Harleyford Estates insist the plans are a "win-win" situation for both parties, as intensive farming would produce far more traffic.

The application is set to be decided by Wycombe Dsitrict Council next month, with members requesting the decision is taken by the full Planning Committee.