Campaign Group To Mount Legal Challenge Of Stonehenge Tunnel

A campaign group is planning to mount a legal challenge over Grant Shapps decision to give the go-ahead to the building of a tunnel near Stonehenge.

The Transport Secretary gave the plans which will cost £1.7bn the green light, disregarding the recommendations of planning officials, earlier in November.

The Stonehenge Alliance have instructed a legal team to investigate the lawfulness of the decision.

The Planning Inspectorate had recommended Transport Secretary Grant Shapps withhold consent, warning it would cause “permanent, irreversible harm” to the World Heritage site.

Credit: Highways England – The proposed route of the tunnel and other improvement works.

Campaigners are concerned 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’. 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.”

The scheme is an attempt to remove the traffic bottleneck from around the ancient site and remove the queues of traffic that often form.

In total, the improvement works will run from Solstice Park to the Berwick downs as you approach Yarnbury Castle. Including a flyover at Countess Roundabout, the tunnelled section past Stonehenge and a By-pass around Winterbourne Stoke.

Credit: Highways England – Queues past Stonehenge are a familiar sight
Highways England and English Heritage support the scheme. Work is expected to start in 2023 and take around 5 years to complete.


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