Donors gave so generously to the first appeal in 2021, raising roughly £80,000 to mount the successful court action against a government with abundant legal resources, could supporters rise to a SECOND challenge two years on?
Would they be as generous this time, during a cost of living crisis? With a fresh environmental drama reported almost every day, can we blame people for donor fatigue?
It all seemed so hopeless. But without money the court case couldn’t go ahead, and the government would have won. No political action can stop the road now, short of a general election in the next few months. It quickly became clear that we had no right to doubt the depth of the public’s concern about a cause of such fundamental importance, and their willingness to contribute to put it right.
In no time, three days actually, Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site (SSWHS) was ready to lay down the gauntlet. Pledges came flooding in, and not just from the UK – ‘Solidarity from across the pond!’ said one donor in the US. Thank you!
Thus, SSWHS submitted their Pre-Application Protocol letter to the Government, which has two weeks in which to respond. SSWHS will then submit its legal challenge, within the six week deadline, towards the end of August. But, more is needed to take the case on, and rebut the Government’s defence of the scheme. So on to their next target: £50,000. We gather that the target is likely to stretch to a horrendously ambitious £80,000. We’ll let you know!
Strength of feeling
It’s been heartening and encouraging to hear how strongly people feel about this issue. A substantial number have added a comment. This is vox pop on a grand scale. Comments left have been powerful, eloquent, outraged, plaintive. And, of course, totally original.
This is a flavour.
‘Must be stopped – for the sake of future generations.’
‘Of all the infrastructure projects this government is pushing forward to destroy our countryside, this one breaks my heart the most. Our land and our heritage must be preserved.’
‘…appalled at our Government’s ignoring the tremendous importance of Stonehenge to Great Britain & the rest of the world.’
‘It has already been turned down once. Can’t they get the message that this is not only a terrible idea but also a waste of money.’
And: ‘If we compromise our own heritage, how can we ever lecture other countries? Our Govt’s track record on major project management e.g. HS2 with runaway costs, continually changing justifications for it, etc is itself reason to say NO.’
From the succinct – ‘culture not cars!’, and ‘FFS’ (expand that as you will), to the significance of the importance of UNESCO status:
‘This is a sacred place of pilgrimage and one of the most important archaeological sites in the known world. Would the government approve a plan to build a dual carriageway through St Paul’s Cathedral or Westminster Abbey?’
Some lamented the loss of a familiar landmark: ‘Like many others have visited once, but enjoy pointing it out to the grandchildren from the A303.’
‘A World Heritage site that can’t be seen by passing motorists is throwing out the baby along with the bathwater. Stonehenge must be as visible as possible, not locked away.’
‘Driving past the stones is a great experience and a joy of the A303.’
Others the climate implications – ‘More road building madness in the face of climate chaos.’ And ‘Invest in railways instead’.
Not that we seek plaudits, but this was touching – ‘Thank you for fighting this for us all.’
The above are quotes from donors, taken from the Crowdjustice site – https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/save-stonehenge-world-heritage-site-again
- The Guardian, 26 August 2023: Revival of Stonehenge road tunnel plan triggers new legal challenge
- Evening Standard, 26 August 2023: Campaigners launch fresh Stonehenge legal challenge
- BBC, 26 August 2023: Campaigners launch new legal challenge over Stonehenge tunnel
- The Independent, 26 August 2023: Campaigners launch fresh Stonehenge road legal challenge
- Similar in Swindon Advertiser, Bracknell News, Hampshire Chronicle, Planet Radio.