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Stonehenge Tunnel Project – Campaigners Lose High Court Bid to Stop the Project

Stonehenge Tunnel

As the second judicial review brought by Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site (SSWHS), the High Court challenge against the proposed Stonehenge road tunnel was lost by campaigners.

While in 2020 the National Highways was initially awarded consent, follwoing the High Court quashed the scheme in July 2021, the campaigners blocked the project. The reasons of court for this decision were that the Secretary of State for Transport had failed to take into account the scheme’s impact on the significance of all heritage assets and failed to consider the merits of two alternatives, which would either cover the cutting or extend the tunnel to the west.

After that transport secretary Mark Harper granted a Development Consent Order for the 12.9km of new dual carriageway, which includes a 3.3km tunnel under Stonehenge in July last year,he approved again the plan. Reducing the notorious congestion on the single carriageway section of the A303 as it passes the ancient stones, as well as improving journey times and reliability between the M3 and M5 motorways, are the purposes of this scheme.

According to SSHWS’s statement, it intends to appeal the decision.

“This is a devastating loss, not just for everyone who has campaigned against the government’s pig-headed plans for the Stonehenge landscape, but for Britain, for the world, and for subsequent generations,” said Tom Holland, historian and president of the Stonehenge Alliance.

Advancing the main parts of this project with £1.25bn value is up to MORE joint venture, comprising FCC Construcción, Webuild and BeMo Tunnelling,that signed the contract in October 2022.

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