On Friday 30 July, the High Court found that the Secretary of State had acted unlawfully when granting permission for a dual carriageway and tunnel for the A303 adjacent to Stonehenge in the World Heritage Site (WHS). Many interested parties had called for a longer tunnel than that proposed to provide more protection for the WHS, and the High Court held that the Secretary of State had failed to consider less damaging ways of improving the A303.
The Society has, over a long period, supported in principle the construction of a tunnel for the A303 at Stonehenge, subject to a full and proper consideration of all the potential impacts on the WHS and the adoption of all necessary measures to mitigate damage.
We therefore welcome the High Court’s emphasis on the requirement for a legally water tight ‘heritage’ balancing exercise to be carried out by the Secretary of State in cases such as this, including an assessment of “the impacts on significance of all affected assets”.
We await the Secretary of State’s response to the judgement, and in particular whether he will be prepared to consider alternative tunnel options.
Our two statements regarding Stonehenge are below and you can find all our policy statements on our website here.