The Transport Secretary has delayed his decision on the A303 Stonehenge Scheme until 13 November to seek the views of interested parties on the major new find around Durrington Walls.
Highways England’s immediate response was as follows:
“This find is in the north east corner of the World Heritage Site, well outside the scheme boundary and at its closest point half a kilometre north of the planned A303 upgrade past Stonehenge . . . We are confident that the proposed scheme presents the best solution for tackling a longstanding bottleneck on this section of the A303, . . . while returning the Stonehenge landscape to something like its original setting . . .”
Scheme supporters Historic England and English Heritage appear to have made no comment so far, while the National Trust, another supporter, says:
“. . . we are working closely with our partners to help inform and challenge Highways England to deliver a scheme that protects the special qualities of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site and finally addresses the major harm the existing A303 does to this extraordinary place.”
The response of one of our members, however, may be considered rather more apt:
“Shock, horror! Spectacular archaeology found in already-known spectacular archaeological landscape somehow surprises ministers and forces deferral of damaging scheme yet again. How long before they finally get the message that this appalling proposal is undeliverable?”
Enough said, perhaps.
Gaffney, V. et al. 2020 A Massive, Late Neolithic Pit Structure associated with Durrington Walls Henge, Internet Archaeology 55. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.55.4. See also Vince Gaffney vox pop on Stonehenge Alliance Facebook https://www.facebook.com/stonehengealliance/ and Twitter https://twitter.com/savestonehenge.