Highways England’s application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) for the A303 Stonehenge scheme has been accepted by the Infrastructure Planning Inspectorate. All 300+ of the application documents are up on the Inspectorate’s website (at https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/south-west/a303-stonehenge/) which also explains the DCO Examination process. Click on a button on their Home page for email updates on the scheme’s progress.
The road widening project includes a short (c.3km) twin-bored tunnel south of the henge, to each side of which there would be new 4-lane highways, largely in deep cuttings and well within the World Heritage Site (WHS). A massive flyover is proposed for the A345 on the eastern WHS boundary, which would impact adversely on the integrity of the Mesolithic site of Bick Mead. Just beyond the western WHS boundary there would be a major interchange with an underpass, twin roundabouts and slip roads.
Individual Rescue members are urged to register as ‘Interested Parties’ with the Inspectorate by 11 January 2019. On registration you are asked submit a ‘Relevant Representation’ summarising your concerns. Some hints on this are offered on the Stonehenge Alliance’s website at http://stonehengealliance.org.uk/register-to-object-to-a303-stonehenge-expressway-by-11-january-2019/. This is the last chance to get involved.
Rescue, as a supporter-organisaton of the Stonehenge Alliance, will be registering and plans to raise a number of issues, notably irreparable damage to a World Heritage Site which ought to receive the strongest protection under the World Heritage Convention and UK planning policy for the historic environment. A recent Stonehenge Alliance blog gives dramatic images and a link to a video of British Neolithic specialist Mike Parker Pearson explaining his reasons for opposing the A303 scheme: http://stonehengealliance.org.uk/a303-stonehenge-expressway-a-monumental-disaster/.
There will be more about the A303 Stonehenge scheme in the next edition of Rescue News.
14 December 2018