LAST UPDATED: 19 February, 2024

As things stand, the only thing that can stop the contractors from starting construction at Stonehenge WHS in 2024 is the appeal.

  • 2020, 12 November: Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, approved the A303 Stonehenge scheme.
  • 2021, 30 July: Decision for A303 Stonehenge road scheme in 2021 quashed by the High Court.
  • 2023, 14 July: Mark Harper, Transport Secretary, approved virtually the same scheme on 14th July after a prolonged redetermination process.  [1, 2]
  • 2023, July: The independent legal team associated with the Stonehenge Alliance, Save Stonehenge WHS Ltd (SSWHS), immediately commissioned lawyers to challenge the decision.  [3]
  • 2023, August: SSWHS submitted case and await the High Court’s decision whether to proceed with a hearing.  Expected soon.  The grounds for the claim are here. [4]
  • 2023, September: UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee met in Riyadh and stuck to its guns: they condemned the road scheme and threatened to place the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger if the road goes ahead.  UK Government asked to report to the Committee by 1st February before taking action. [5]
  • 2023, 4 August: The Development Consent Order for the A303 (Amesbury to Berwick Down) Development Consent Order 2023 came into force. [6]
  • 2023, 17 August: The scheme promoter, National Highways, confirms it has let the contracts.  Construction is expected to start in early Spring 2024 if the legal challenge is not accepted. [7]
  • 2023, 1 November:  Roll up hearing announced “sometime in December”.  Read SSWHS case update: “Our Day in Court Approaches” [8]
  • 2023, 14 November: Three days in court starting on Tuesday 12 December. Read SSWHS case update: “We have a date! Our Day”  [8]
  • 2023, 6 December: SSWHS reaches its target of £80,000 [8]
  • 2023, 8 December: Press Release ‘Court to rule on future of Stonehenge’ [10]
  • 2023, 12 December: Demonstration against Stonehenge road scheme to mark the start of the 3-day hearing: 12:45 for 30-45 minutes, pavement outside Royal Courts of Justice [9]
  • 2024, 4 January: Mailshot to mailing list ‘Reflections on a tumultuous year’: Judgment awaited. [11]
  • 2024, 19 February: Judgment handed down. Challenge unsuccessful.  SS WHS commit to fighting an appeal. Update here. [12]
  • 2024, 5 April: Leave for appeal awaited.  However, National Highways started preparatory works on 2 April which we consider premature whilst legal processes are in progress and could waste more public money

** A NEW STRETCH TARGET:  £100k is now included in the legal appeal. **

References

  1. Stonehenge tunnel approval quashed, 30 July 2021
  2. A303 Stonehenge approval threatens de-listing of Stonehenge World Heritage Site Media release 14 July 2023
  3. Save Stonehenge WHS launch appeal, 31 July 2023
  4. Summary of grounds for the legal challenge, 29 August 2023 
  5. UNESCO committee stand firm against Stonehenge road scheme, 16 September 2023
  6. The A303 (Amesbury to Berwick Down) Development Consent Order 2023 as made by the Secretary of State
  7. £1.3bn of spending already committed to by National Highways for the Stonehenge Tunnel, Civil Engineer, 17 August
  8. Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site CrowdJustice appeal and case updates  
  9. Making history outside the Royal Courts of Justice – demo details for 12 December at 12.45
  10. Press release.
  11. Reflections on a tumultuous year.
  12. Cruel blow as challenge suffers setback.
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