What happens next?
The A303 Stonehenge Project is a National Infrastructure Planning Project and subject to the new Development Consent Order procedures. This is a new process brought in by the 2008 Planning Act that restricts the duration of public involvement and decision making. Following the developer’s public consultation to assess proposed options, the formal timetable begins with an announcement of the preferred option expected this summer. This will then lead to the pre-application stage towards the end of this year where the public will once again have its say. Highways England’s timeline is copied below:
The consultation closed on 5 March 2017. However this is only the start of the process. Around 9,000 responses have been received by Highways England.
The proposal for the new dual carriageway across the Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS) would result in serious damage to archaeology and landscape, and draw new traffic into the WHS. Previously tranquil areas would suffer.
Map below shows the A303 tunnel and road proposal across World Heritage Site.
Our key concerns were:
- Consultation period of 7 weeks was too short for a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- No options offered to protect the World Heritage Site
- Tunnel too short (WHS is 5.4km/3.4 miles wide, tunnel is 2.9km/1.8 miles long).
- Serious damage to archaeology and landscape in direct contravention of planning policy and World Heritage Convention.
- Detrimental to wildlife especially the RSPB reserve for Stone Curlews.
- £1.4bn expenditure won’t solve traffic problems
The Stonehenge Alliance has responded to Highways England’s consultation expressing these serious concerns both with the consultation and the proposals. The responses of many other organisations were also equally damming.
Our response to the consultation
Read our response here.
There are numerous technical documents and maps on the Highways England consultation page here.
What can you do to help?
1. If you haven’t already done so, please, continue to sign our petition and encourage your friends to do the same.
KINDLY NOTE: Since setting up the petition, we have learned more about the recently discovered Mesolithic site at Blick Mead. This has led us to consider that if Government insists on a tunnel under the WHS, it must be long enough to avoid the WHS and its setting altogether. This would be in line with planning policy and World Heritage Convention safeguards. We cannot change the wording but our intention to avoid further damage is clearly stated in the petition.
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