Stonehenge Alliance Press Release
Photo opportunity: 12:45, Tuesday, 12 December outside the Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London WC2A 2LL. Protestors with banners and placards
Next Tuesday (12 December) Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site (SSWHS)  will be at the High Court in London. It is seeking a judicial review of the Government’s decision to approve a highly damaging, £2.5bn road scheme through Stonehenge World Heritage Site, for a second time . Its legal action is the only thing stopping the bulldozers from entering this 5,000-year-old landscape.
The hearing is set to last for three days and will consider a number of grounds .
UNESCO , five planning inspectors  and over 230,000 people  are strongly opposed to National Highways’ plans to damage Stonehenge World Heritage Site.
John Adams, chair of the Stonehenge Alliance  and one of the 3 directors of SSWHS, said: “In the face of Government indifference to the harm this road will cause the World Heritage Site, we had no choice but to bring this legal action. As before we hope we are successful in overturning this proposed vandalism. We hope justice will be served over the next three days.”
Dan Snow, British historian and television presenter, said: “It’s astonishing that the Government is persisting with such a damaging scheme when there’s so much opposition. Even UNESCO opposes it. They’ve got to come up with something better. Simply cutting right through one of the most important archaeological sites on planet earth shows little respect for humanity or our heritage. There are plenty of other solutions that could reduce traffic past Stonehenge.”
Leigh Day solicitor Rowan Smith said: “Despite this road development being so controversial, and despite important new matters which required proper scrutiny, the Secretary of State ignored calls for a fresh public examination.
Our clients consider that was unfair and potentially a breach of human rights. Also, no regard whatsoever was given to the risk that Stonehenge would lose its world heritage status if plans were approved, which our clients say was plainly irrational. We look forward to presenting these arguments to the Court.”
SSWHS has successfully raised the £80,000 needed to bring this action in just over 4 months .
Notes to editors:
 Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site is a limited company set up by three individuals closely associated with the Stonehenge Alliance to specifically challenge the original Government decision on 12 November 2020 to approve National Highways’ damaging scheme.
SSWHS applied for a judicial review of the Government’s second approval of the scheme on 14 July, 2023 (six days before the Somerset and Frome by-election).
 The first judicial review was held 23-25 June 2021, with the judgement being handed down by Mr Justice Holgate on 30 July 2021, quashing the Development Consent Order.
 SSWHS is represented by Leigh Day and barristers David Wolfe KC (Matrix), Victoria Hutton and Stephanie David (39 Essex). It is argued that the grant of development consent was unlawful on the following grounds:
- Given recent developments and key new evidence, it was procedurally unfair for the Secretary of State not to subject the re-determination to a full public re-examination
- It was irrational for the Secretary of State to give no weight to the risk that the scheme would result in Stonehenge having its World Heritage Status removed
- The Secretary of State failed to take certain obviously material considerations into account, including by failing to consider diverting the road around the Stonehenge site, despite such an alternative having a far lower impact in heritage terms
- The Secretary of State failed to properly assess the scheme’s climate change impact, owing to:
- applying roads policy which pre-dated the Net Zero target
- treating the draft new roads policy as immaterial
- ignoring the new national net zero strategy
- assessing emissions from this scheme alone, without factoring in the emission from the whole A303/A358 corridor upgrade in the south west peninsular
 See UNESCO World Heritage Committee decision from its September 2023 committee meeting in Riyadh.
 The Examination Report, dated 2 January, 2020 recommended that the application be refused. It was published on 12 November, 2020, when the Secretary of State made his first decision to approve the scheme.
 The Stonehenge Alliance has two petitions, one for residents in the UK (38 Degrees) and one for people outside the UK (Change.org). The combined total stands at over 230,000 with signatures from at least 147 countries worldwide.
 The Stonehenge Alliance supporter-organisations are: Ancient Sacred Landscape Network; Campaign to Protect Rural England; Friends of the Earth; Rescue, the British Archaeological Trust; and Transport Action Network.
 The CrowdJustice page was launched on Friday, 28 July, 2023