For two weeks during September, English Heritage is carrying out repairs to the lintels at Stonehenge.

15 09 2021
  • Restoration work at Stonehenge has begun, with scaffolding erected inside ancient Salisbury monument
  • Strong winds buffeting the 4,500-year-old stone circle have taken their toll on its horizontal stones
  • Large-scale restoration this morning, with conservators seen scaling 22ft high scaffolding 
  • The last major job was conducted in 1958, when several stones were hauled back into place by Aubrey Bailey 
  • His son Richard Woodman-Bailey is being asked to place a £2 coin within Stonehenge at a ceremony 

For two weeks during September, English Heritage is carrying out repairs to the lintels at Stonehenge, replacing old degraded cement mortar that was used in the late 1950s to prevent weathering and secure the stones in position. The work will be heavily scrutinised by those on the project, in stark contrast to the work carried out in the 1950s.

Why are the stones being repaired?

Heather Sebire, English Heritage’s senior curator for the site, said: “Four-and-a-half-thousand years of being buffeted by wind and rain has created cracks and holes in the surface of the stone, and this vital work will protect the features which make Stonehenge so distinctive.”

Orientated towards the sunrise on the summer solstice, the sacred site includes several hundred burial mounds across the complex.

Scaffolding has been erected next to Stonehenge this morning as the ancient monument undergoes the first major repairs in more than six decades so cracks and holes in the stones can be refilled 

However, Stonehenge is showing its age, with laser scans showing the lintel stones, joints and concrete mortar that balance across the vertical pillars have heavily eroded.

The concrete mortar used in the most recent project is not breathable, leaving the ancient stones vulnerable from moisture. This moisture can freeze in winter, then when it thaws, leaves deep cracks.

Instead of using concrete, conservators and engineers are to use a more forgiving material, lime mortar.

This type of mortar keeps water out more efficiently and, when moisture does enter, it allows it to escape.

Unsheltered from the elements, Stonehenge is at the mercy of what ever nature throws its way. Thrashed by wind and rain, the UK’s every increasingly extreme weather is bound to take its toll on the ancient moment.

Visitors to Stonehenge will get a unique opportunity to see conservation in action while the work takes place. Stonehenge Guided Tours offer tours from London and can include the special access experience allowing you to enter the inner circle and get a closer look. The Stonehenge Travel Company offer guided tours from nearby Salisbury and Bath.

Relevant Stonehenge news Links:
Stonehenge restoration work begin. Daily Mail
Conservation project starts at Stonehenge – Salisbury Journal
Stonehenge project launched to repair deep lintel cracks – The Guardian
Stonehenge: English Heritage to repair cracked lintels – BBC News
Why is Stonehenge being repaired? – Wales Online
From Restoration to Conservation – English Heritage
Stonehenge to undergo first major repairs in 60 years to fill cracks and holes in monument – The Independent

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Study provides first glimpse inside one of the giant sarsen stones at Stonehenge.

7 08 2021
  • Scientists analysed a sample from one of the standing stones taken in the 1950s
  • The sample is made up of sand-sized quartz grains cemented tightly together 

Stonehenge may have lasted so long because of the unique geochemical composition of the standing stones, a new study suggests.  

Geochemical analysis shows Stonehenge may have survived so long due to sand-sized quartz grains that are cemented tightly together by an interlocking mosaic of crystals

An international team of scientists analysed wafer-thin slices of a core sample from one of the great sandstone slabs, known as sarsens, under a microscope.

The 3.5-foot-long sample, called Philip’s Core, was extracted more than 60 years ago and only returned to Britain two years ago after being kept souvenir in the US for decades.

In 1958, Robert Phillips, a representative of the drilling company helping to restore Stonehenge, took the cylindrical core after it was drilled from one of Stonehenge’s pillars — Stone 58. Later, when he emigrated to the United States, Phillips took the core with him. Because of Stonehenge’s protected status, it’s no longer possible to extract samples from the stones. But with the core’s return in 2018, researchers had the opportunity to perform unprecedented geochemical analyses of a Stonehenge pillar, which they described in a new study.

The researchers used CT-scanning, X-rays, microscopic analyses and various geochemical techniques to study fragments and wafer-thin slices of the core sample – such testing being off-limits for megaliths at the site.

They found that Stonehenge’s towering standing stones, or sarsens, were made of rock containing sediments that formed when dinosaurs walked the Earth. Other grains in the rock date as far back as 1.6 billion years.

RELEVANT STONEHENGE NEWS:
How Stonehenge’s stones have lasted so long: 20-tonne blocks are made up of interlocking quartz crystals that have stopped the monument weathering over the last 5,000 years, analysis reveals – Daily Mail
Long-lost fragment of Stonehenge reveals rock grains dating to nearly 2 billion years ago – Live Science
Stonehenge breakthrough as lost fragment of monument uncovers two billion-year-old secret – Daily Express
Petrological and geochemical characterisation of the sarsen stones at Stonehenge – Plos One
Researchers analyze rock grains from Stonehenge – Reuters
Specialist tour operator offering guided tours of the inner circle of Stonehenge – Stonehenge Guided Tours
The origin of the giant sarsen stones at Stonehenge has finally been discovered with the help of a missing piece of the site which was returned after 60 years. – Stonehenge News Blog

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Stonehenge’s UNESCO World Heritage Site status is under threat.

25 07 2021

Stonehenge could become the latest heritage site in the UK to lose its UNESCO status as a £1.7bn Government plan to build a new road and tunnel there could threaten its history, ministers have been told.

Stonehenge could be on the verge of losings its World Heritage status, if a planned £1.7bn road tunnel goes ahead.

The news comes just days after Liverpool was stripped of its Unesco status, one of just three places to have the ranking removed in almost 50 years.

The world’s most recognisable rock monument, near Salisbury, is expected to be next in line to face the axe from the UN-backed agency who are said to be considering placing it on its ‘in danger list’.

Stonehenge Avebury and Associated Sites was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1986, meaning has cultural, historical, or scientific value ‘considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

Internationally, Stonehenge is revered as one of the wonders of the world and is viewed alongside global treasures including the Taj Mahal, Pyramids of Giza and Machu Piccu. 

STONEHENGE A303 TUNNEL NEWS:

Stonehenge may be next UK site to lose world heritage status – The Guardian
Stonehenge could lose world heritage status following Liverpool – The Independent
Stonehenge ‘could lose World Heritage status’ due to £1.7bn road tunnel plan – The Mirror
Stonehenge could be next to lose Unesco world heritage status due to £1.7bn tunnel – The Daily Mail
A303 Stonehenge Tunnel | Court case has begun to determine lawfulness of planning decision – Stonehenge News Blog
The Knotty Problem of the A303 and Stonehenge.- Stonehenge News Blog
The Stonehenge Tunnel Debate – the good, the bad, and the ugly – Stonehenge News Blog

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Stonehenge Summer Solstice Celebrations Cancelled. The sunset and sunrise will now be live-streamed.

16 06 2021

The 2021 summer solstice celebrations at Wiltshire’s Stonehenge have been cancelled as England’s ‘Freedom Day‘ is delayed by four weeks due to the rise in cases of the Indian variant. In a bid to control the spread of the new strain, the Government has now pushed back stage 4 of its roadmap.

ENGLISH HERITAGE STATEMENT:

With this week’s news that the Government is delaying the lifting of the remaining Covid-19 restrictions on 21 June and following discussions with Wiltshire Council’s Public Health team and Wiltshire Police, English Heritage has taken the extremely difficult decision to cancel the planned Summer Solstice celebrations at Stonehenge this year.

SUMMER SOLSTICE IN THE NEWS

Stonehenge summer solstice event cancelled for a second year – BBC News
‘Left with no choice’ – Solstice event cancelled second year in a row – Salisbury Journal
Summer solstice celebrations at Stonehenge officially cancelled – This is Wiltshire

The sunset and sunrise will be live-streamed for free as the virtual celebrations proved very popular last year.

Traditionally about 10,000 people have gathered at the Neolithic monument in Wiltshire, on or around 21 June, to mark midsummer, however English Heriatge were expecting numbers to exceed 40,000 this year as many festivals and events have already been cancelled due to coronavirus restictions.

Please do not travel to Stonehenge this summer solstice, watch it online instead. The National Trust has also closed Avebury and asked visitors “not to travel to the area”. Wiltshire Police said officers would have a “presence in the areas of both Stonehenge and Avebury” and local authorities warned people to stay away.

Visit the English Heritage website for updates.

Celebrations take place every year on or around June 21 at Stonehenge, a monument built on the alignment of the midsummer sunrise and the midwinter sunset.

On the summer solstice, the sun rises behind the Heel Stone, the ancient entrance to the Stone Circle, and rays of sunlight are channelled into the centre of the monument.

It is believed that solstices have been celebrated at Stonehenge for thousands of years.

Summer solstice takes place as one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the sun and the sun reaches its highest position in the sky, ensuring the longest period of daylight of the year.

RELEVANT SOLSTICE LINKS:
Summer Solstice 2021 – National Trust facilities at Avebury closed overnight – National Trust
Summer solstice 2021: everything you need to know about the longest day of the year – The Telegraph
The Legendary Stonehenge Summer Solstice Celebration. A once-in-a-lifetime experience. Stonehenge News
Stonehenge: Summer Solstice 2021 to go ahead as normal. Salisbury Journal
Summer Solstice at Stonehenge. From Past to Present. Stonehenge New Blog
Attending the Stonehenge 2021 Summer Solstice. English Heritage
Stonehenge Summer Solstice Tours and Transprort – The Stonehenge Tour Company
Why Thousands Of Pagans Gather At Stonehenge For The Solstice Stonehenge News Blog
Respect the Stones: Stonehenge News Blog

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MCHENGE: Fast food giant sponsors Stonehenge tunnel project.

31 03 2021

Today, companies large and small take advantage of the opportunity to adopt sections of roadway and more all over the world.  Local governments are constantly looking for creative ways to sponsor tunnel and roadway infrastructure. McDonald’s offers fresh insights on developing innovative sponsorship including naming opportunities for projects such as tunnels and bridges.  In England, spiraling tunnel costs are forcing the Government to announce a corporate infrastructure sponsorship with the fast-food giant sponsoring the Stonehenge tunnel project.  Plans also include a tunnel toll fee that will be implemented to help recoup the costs of the tunnels construction and maintenance. 

According to the National Audit Office report, the Amesbury and Berwick Down project, which includes the tunnel, is forecast to cost between £1.5bn and £2.4bn, with a likely cost of around £2.1bn.  In return for financial sponsorship, McDonald’s receives prominent fleet and uniform brand positioning.  In addition to the Golden Arches on the east and west entrances, you will see their branding (sponsor recognition panels) on the tunnel interior with several hundred intersecting horse-shoe shaped arches.

“The Golden Arches of McDonald’s will rise gloriously across the Wiltshire landscape, Contempo-monolithic, and as simple in concept as Stonehenge” said Terence Hillier, a spokesperson for the McDonald’s sponsorship scheme.

Wiltshire council leaders have been defending the private funding initiative and reportedly welcome the prospect of bringing the Golden Arches to within sniffing distance of Britain’s greatest archaeological monument.

All these factors, coupled with the public’s growing comfort with naming public assets after private entities, make road and tunnel “branding” a reality in today’s economic climate. Two decades ago few people could have imagined sports stadiums named after financial and energy companies, yet it is a common practice today.  The Stonehenge tunnel on the A303 will not be far behind.

The introduction of toll electronic road pricing (ERP) is expected to cost £7 per vehicle however, discounts will be offered to local residents.  Also, motorists on the A303, who will no longer get a free view of Stonehenge whilst travelling through the tunnel, will be able to claim a 25% discount at the English Heritage visitor centre.

McDonald’s will also be offering discounts on their exclusively branded menu for toll payers at any of their A303 restaurants. Vouchers will be redeemable on Chicken McDruids, Stone Burgers and Solstice Shakes.

The Stonehenge Drive-Thru is expected to open in 2026 and local residents are ‘lovin’ it.

1st APRIL 2021

Related Topics:
Plans for proposed dome to cover Stonehenge from 2021 – Stonehenge News Blog
April Fool! ‘Plans’ to beam advertising onto Stonehenge circle at night – Daily Mail
Moving the Avebury stones for British Summer Time – National Trust
When is April Fools’ Day 2021? Why we mark it with jokes, what time it ends and the best pranks from history – INEWS
Stonehenge To Move (April Fool’s Day – 1991) – Daily Mail
Geophysical survey reveals secret chambers and corridors underneath Stonehenge – Stonehenge News Blog
Stonehenge Tours with expert tour local tour guides – Stonenge Tour Company

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Archaeologists unearth Bronze Age artefacts and Neolithic graves at proposed Stonehenge tunnel site.

7 02 2021

All kinds of ancient artefacts have been found at the A303 site. Recent excavation has uncovered late Neolithic and Bronze Age artefacts and human remains

The Guardian reports that archaeologists have examined some 1,800 test pits and more than 400 trial trenches along the path of the proposed controversial two-mile A303 tunnel at Stonehenge. The A303 road, which currently runs close to Stonehenge, will in future enter a 3km long dual-carriageway tunnel that passes through part of the ancient site, removing any vehicles from the view of visitors.

Archaeologists unearth bronze age graves at Stonehenge tunnel site

A Neolithic burial site, a mysterious Bronze Age C-shaped enclosure and ancient tools and pottery have been found by archaeologists carrying out work at the proposed new road tunnel at Stonehenge.

Wessex Archaeology’s investigations uncovered evidence of human activity dating back more than 7,000 years at the planned A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down Scheme sites.

Archaeologists have put in a huge amount of work into preliminary investigations, including more than 462 hectares of geophysical survey and 440 evaluation trenches.

One of the two Beaker-period burials found near the site of the proposed Stonehenge road tunnel. (Image: Wessex Archaeology)

One of the most fascinating discoveries is a small shale object – found in the grave of a female in her 20s or early 30s.

The burial dates to the Beaker period, around 4,500 years ago, when new types of pottery and other objects appear in Britain. This period also saw the building of some of the bluestone circles at Stonehenge.

“It’s a unique object: we have never seen one before,” says Dr Matt Leivers, A303 consultant archaeologist at Wessex Archaeology.

“Although not hugely significant, we can only speculate about what it was – it may have been a ceremonial cup purposefully damaged before it was laid in the grave, or it may be the cap off the end of a staff or club.”

Nearby pits from the same period were found to contain other traces of human activity, including fragments of pottery, worked flint for tools, and animal bones.

Archaeologists also discovered tiny ear bones from a young infant in one of the pits, buried alongside a plain Beaker.

Elsewhere, a C-shaped enclosure dating to the late Bronze Age is thought to have been an area for industrial working, due to the density of burned flint contained in the soil around it.

The investigations have informed the main archaeological fieldwork, due to begin on site in late spring this year. The main phase of fieldwork will involve around 100-150 archaeologists and last approximately 18 months ahead of construction starting on site in 2023.

Andy Crockett, A303 Project Director at Wessex Archaeology says:

“We’ve done a huge amount of initial work which has been extremely thorough – more so than any site I’ve worked on in my 40-year career – reflecting the sensitivity of this site. We now have a very clear idea of what we expect to find in the upcoming main fieldworks. Everything we find will be processed, conserved and analysed by the specialists in our Research department. We’ll also be drawing on the expertise of our partners in the archaeological sector, so that we make sure that the best possible outcomes are achieved for the archaeology.”

Ultimately, all finds will be delivered to Salisbury Museum to be displayed to the public.

David Bullock, A303 Project Manager, Highways England, says:

“It is a scheme objective to conserve and enhance the World Heritage Site and this is being achieved through close collaborative working with heritage groups, the independent A303 Scientific Committee, and our archaeology contractors Wessex Archaeology, who have an extensive track record of work in connection with the Stonehenge landscape.

“The route itself has been designed to ensure there are no direct impacts on scheduled monuments and the amount of archaeological survey and mitigation work is unprecedented because, in recognition of the significance of the WHS, the surveys are over and above what would have usually been done at this stage of a highway project.

“As part of the extensive archaeological surveys to date, we have uncovered some interesting but not unexpected finds, and we are now preparing plans with Wessex to start further archaeological excavation work later this year. This will be monitored on site by Wiltshire Council Archaeology Service, and members of the independent A303 Scientific Committee and A303 Heritage Monitoring and Advisory Group.”

Stonehenge References:
Archaeologists unearth bronze age graves at Stonehenge tunnel site – The Guardian
A303 Stonehenge evaluation works uncover glimpses of prehistoric life – Wessex Archaeology
Archaeologists unearth Neolithic graves at Stonehenge tunnel site – Somerset Live
Bronze Age graves and Neolithic pottery discovered near proposed new road tunnel could shed light on makers of the stone circle – The Daily Mail
Discoveries at Stonehenge highlight controversial new tunnel’s threat to heritage – The Art Newspaper
Stonehenge tunnel discovery: Ancient civilisation evidence found under A303 – The Express
Bronze Age Graves Uncovered At Stonehenge During Tunnel Excavations – Ancient Origins
Stonehenge Archaeology Guided Tours – Stonehenge Tour Company
Lost Bronze Age graves discovered at Stonehenge tunnel site after 4,000 years – The Sun
Scrap Stonehenge road tunnel plans, say archaeologists after neolithic discovery – The Guardian
Stonehenge Walking Tours – Stonehenge Guided Tours

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Wiltshire people share thoughts on A303 Stonehenge tunnel benefits.

28 01 2021

The video’s been released on social media, with the strapline ‘transforming the landscape and transforming lives‘ to suggest how that part of South Wiltshire will benefit from the project.

They’ve featured in a new video from Highways England.

Those in favour of the tunnel has long said that it would prevent rat-running through villages to avoid heavy traffic on the A303, particularly at summer time.

Archaeologist Mike Pitts speaks about what the project means to him.
“Opening up the World Heritage Site will open up new understandings, a new appreciation of this landscape for all of us”

Archaeologist Mike Pitts on what #A303Stonehenge means to him.

B&B owner Jane Singleton talks to Highways England about what the A303 Stonehenge will do for her business and the local community. Read her Stonehenge story here

Highways England and English Heritage support the scheme, which is expected to begin in 2023 and take five years to complete.

Stonehenge A303 Tunnel References:
South Wiltshire people share thoughts on A303 Stonehenge tunnel benefits – PLANET RADIO
The Stonehenge Tunnel Debate – the good, the bad, and the ugly – STONEHENGE NEWS BLOG
Stonehenge Alliance. The battle to save Stonehenge WHS is on – SAVE STONEHENGE CAMPAIGN
A303 Stonehenge Tunnel explained: Plans, route design and more – THE SALISBURY JOURNAL
The Stonehenge tunnel: ‘A monstrous act of desecration is brewing’ – THE GUARDIAN
Stonehenge tunnel ‘would destroy 500,000 artefacts’ – THE TIMES
A303 Stonehenge DCO granted – A sad day for our archaeological heritage – RESCUE ARCHAELOGICAL TRUST
The proposed name of the Stonehenge tunnel has been announced. THE HERITAGE TRUST
Why a Newly Approved Plan to Build a Tunnel Beneath Stonehenge Is So Controversial – THE SMITHSONIAN
Controversial $2 Billion Tunnel Near Stonehenge Approved, Causing Backlash – HYPERALLERGIC
Rival factions battle for soul of Stonehenge – THE TIMES
STONEHENGE & A303 – ENGLISH HERITAGE
Stonehenge tunnel could bring £4bn boost to South West economy – BUSINESS LIVE
The Conservative Case for the Stonehenge Tunnel | Henry Dixon-Clegg – THE MALLARD
The Knotty Problem of the A303 and Stonehenge. – STONEHENGE NEWS BLOG

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ONLINE LECTURE: Stonehenge: new light on its origins. 9th December 2020

5 12 2020

The lecture is due to start at 7.30pm. ONLINE using Zoom Webinars. Attendees will be emailed the link shortly before the lecture is due to begin.

By Mike Parker Pearson, Professor of British Later Prehistory, Institute of Archaeology

Fundraising Event: A talk by Mike Parker Pearson . Stonehenge: new light on its origins

Recent excavations in the Preseli hills of west Wales have revealed new insights into the sources of the famous bluestones that were brought 180 miles to be erected at Stonehenge. Together with new evidence that these were among the first stones to be erected at Stonehenge, a break-through in scientific analysis of the cremated remains of people buried at the monument is casting new light on this important if mysterious link with the far west. Recovery of DNA from human remains is also changing our understanding of Neolithic people at this significant time in British prehistory. The lecture will also update on the circle of substantial pits found during geophysical surveys surrounding Durrington Walls published earlier this year. These recent discoveries from fieldwork and archaeological science are producing new and exciting insights into who built Stonehenge and why.

A fundraising lecture for Wiltshire Museum.

Tickets – £15 (£12 for WANHS members)
BOOK ONLINE HERE

Wiltshire Museum
*Wiltshire Museum is now open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10am to 4pm (closed 1-1.30pm)*

See gold from the time of Stonehenge! Wiltshire Museum is home to the best Bronze Age archaeology collection in Britain. Explore the galleries, see the outstanding collections and find out more about the fascinating history of Wiltshire and its people over the last 6,000 years.

Our brand new Prehistoric Wiltshire Galleries tell the story of the people who built and used the world renowned monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury. Unique gold and amber objects date back over 4,000 years to the Bronze Age – the time of shamans and priests, learning and culture across Europe. Later periods, including the Iron Age, Romans and Saxons, are also featured, together with the story of Devizes and the surrounding area. There are fun activities for all the family throughout the Museum.

Special exhibitions are held throughout the year – displaying the work of renowned artists, the Wiltshire landscape or highlighting more of our vast collection. Visit our website for details of current exhibitions and events. We have an extensive archive and library, which is open to visitors and researchers. Our collections are Designated by the government as being of national importance.

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The Stonehenge Alliance Campaign Group Launch Legal Challenge over Stonehenge Road Tunnel.

30 11 2020

A campaign group is planning a legal challenge over the transport secretary’s decision to approve a £1.7bn tunnel near Stonehenge.

Historic England and the National Trust argue that diverting the road underground will enhance the site. Druids, green campaigners and archaeologists have opposed the plans.

The campaign group Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site (SSWHS) has commissioned the law firm Leigh Day and barristers Victoria Hutton and David Wolfe QC to investigate the lawfulness of the decision.

The group said the plan to dig a two-mile (3.2km) tunnel alongside the A303 near the Unesco world heritage site was “wasteful and destructive”.

The BBC has approached the Department for Transport (DfT) for a comment.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps approved the project earlier this month against the recommendations of planning officials.

The Planning Inspectorate had recommended Mr Shapps withhold consent, but the DfT said that the benefits of the scheme outweighed the potential harm.

Unesco previously said the scheme would have an “adverse impact” on the surrounding landscape.

Campaigners are worried that the work will have a detrimental impact on the wider Stonehenge world heritage site – which the tunnel would go through.

Tom Holland, from the Stonehenge Alliance, said he was “stunned” that the government had decided to approve the plans.

Stonehenge Alliance is supporting the CrowdJustice appeal.

He said: “I fully back the move to test whether Grants Shapps acted legally in approving this highly wasteful and destructive road scheme.

“The government has ignored advice from both Unesco and the independent panel who presided over a six-month examination.”

Mr Holland added: “I urge everyone who cares about the Stonehenge world heritage site to support this legal action.

“There is still a chance to stop the bulldozers moving in and vandalising our most precious and iconic prehistoric landscape.”

Highways England and English Heritage support the scheme, which is expected to begin in 2023 and take five years to complete.

SSWHS, a new organisation set up by supporters of the Stonehenge Alliance, has begun a fundraising campaign to pay for the legal action. In its letter to Shapps, the organisation said the proposals were in breach of Unesco’s world heritage convention.

RELEVANT STONEHENGE NEWS:
Stonehenge tunnel: Legal challenge to ‘destructive’ plans. BBC NEWS
The Stonehenge Tunnel Debate – the good, the bad, and the ugly. STONEHENHGE NEWS BLOG
Stonehenge tunnel faces legal challenge as campaigners say minister wrongly overruled expert advice. THE TELEGRAPH
Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site. CROWDJUSTICE
Campaigners launch legal challenge over Stonehenge road tunnel. THE GUARDIAN
Stonehenge tunnel: Legal challenge to destructive plans. INSIGHT NEWS REPORT

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Stonehenge News: Controversial A303 Tunnel Plan Approved by Transport Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

12 11 2020

A controversial plan to dig a £2.4bn road tunnel near Stonehenge has been approved by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Decision goes against recommendations of planning officials and is opposed by environmentalists and archaeologists 

The A303, a popular route for motorists travelling to and from the south west, runs within a few hundred metres of the world heritage site.

The plan to build a two-mile (3.2km) tunnel out of sight of the monument was approved despite objections.

Campaigners said it was a “complete violation” and “international scandal”.

Transport minister Andrew Stephenson announced the decision in a written statement to the commons.

Sarah Richards, the Planning Inspectorate’s chief executive, said there had been a “great deal of public interest in this project”.

She said: “A major priority for us over the course of the examination was to ensure that communities who might be affected by this proposal had the opportunity to put forward their views.

In a statement on Thursday, the Planning Inspectorate’s chief executive, Sarah Richards, said: “There has been a great deal of public interest in this project.

“A major priority for us over the course of the examination was to ensure that communities who might be affected by this proposal had the opportunity to put forward their views.

“As always, the Examining Authority gave careful consideration to these before reaching its conclusion.”

Stonehenge Tunnel News Links:
Stonehenge A303 tunnel plan approved by transport secretary – BBC NEWS
Stonehenge tunnel: Government approves controversial bypass near ancient site – THE INDEPENDENT
Transport Secretary approves plans for controversial Stonehenge tunnel – LBC
Tunnel to be built under Stonehenge after getting green light – THE METRO
Stonehenge tunnel plan gets go-ahead from Grant Shapps – MSN
BREAKING NEWS: A303 Stonehenge Tunnel approved by Secretary of State for Transport. – SALISBURY JOURNAL

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