Having side-lined UNESCO’s pleas to change plans, the only thing stopping the contractors from starting work at Stonehenge World Heritage Site is the legal appeal against Judge Holgate’s dismissal of the challenge last February.  The Court of Appeal has granted our partners Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site a hearing.  BUT the Development Consent Order is still in place and the construction work is shovel ready.

  • 2024 21 – 31 July: UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, Delhi will meet in Delhi, consider the State of Conservation Report and whether to place Stonehenge WHS on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
  • 17 July 2024 – Close of Court of Appeal hearing
  • 15 July 2024 – Photo call to mark the opening of the Court of Appeal hearing at 1pm outside the Royal Courts of Justice, London – Press release 
  • 11 July 2024 – Trio of video interviews by Tom Holland with Professor Mike Parker Pearson published: What is Stonehenge? | What is so special about the Stonehenge landscape? | What is wrong with the Stonehenge road scheme?
  • 5 July 2024 – New Secretary of State for Transport and new Secretary of State for Culture appointed.
  • 2024, 25 June:  UNESCO recommends that the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site be place on the List of World Heritage in Danger due to the threat posed by the A303 road scheme.  Press release.
  • 2024, 21 May: Government decision on Stonehenge back in court.  No date set yet, but the appeal for a further £34,000 has been launched today. [13]
  • 2024, 25 April: National Highways paused the DCO preparations to allow for legal processes to be completed.  Public information events were  held locally by National Highways: 27 April to 7 May 2024
  • 2024, 2 April: National Highways started preparatory works on 2 April which the Stonehenge Alliance considered premature whilst legal processes are in progress and could waste more public money
  • 2024, 19 February: Judgment handed down. Challenge unsuccessful. Press statement with notes here. [12]
  • 2024, 2 February: UK Government suppress their full State of Conservation Report – unusually, it only publishes a summary here.
  • 2024, 4 January: Mailshot to mailing list ‘Reflections on a tumultuous year’: Judgment awaited. [11]
  • 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]
  • 2023, 8 December: Press Release ‘Court to rule on future of Stonehenge’ [10]
  • 2023, 6 December: SSWHS reaches its target of £80,000 [8]
  • 2023, 1 November:  Roll up hearing announced “sometime in December”.  Read SSWHS case update: “Our Day in Court Approaches” [8]
  • 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, 4 August: The Development Consent Order for the A303 (Amesbury to Berwick Down) Development Consent Order 2023 came into force. [6]
  • 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, 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, July: The independent legal team associated with the Stonehenge Alliance, Save Stonehenge WHS Ltd (SSWHS), immediately commissioned lawyers to challenge the decision.  [3]
  • 2023, 14 July: Mark Harper, Transport Secretary, approved virtually the same scheme on 14th July after a prolonged redetermination process.  [1, 2]
  • 2021, 30 July: Decision for A303 Stonehenge road scheme in 2021 quashed by the High Court.
  • 2020, 12 November: Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, approved the A303 Stonehenge scheme.


  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.
  13. Press release 
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