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A303 Stonehenge – announcement of a delay to the decision

We have noted the delay of the Development Control Order decision that was announced by the Government on 16 July. The Government statement says that further consultation will take place following the notification of recent archaeological discoveries.

As the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, we have a particular interest in safeguarding the archaeology of the World Heritage Site.

We responded to the Consultation in 2018. Our response is published here –

https://www.wiltshiremuseum.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/WANHS_A303_response_published-updated-20-April.pdf

Our response to Question 10 on the preliminary environmental information provided for the scheme was:-

“We welcome the level of detail presented in this consultation and the open consultation that is taking place. However, we would have preferred to see a full Environmental Impact Statement rather than a Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR). We are disappointed that the results of all the latest research in the Stonehenge landscape have not been taken into account in the development of the current scheme, including the leading-edge geophysics research of the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape project. We believe that this data still needs to be considered. In March 2017 we suggested that there should be an assessment of the extent to which archaeology survives below layers of colluvium, particularly in dry valleys in the chalk. This has not yet taken place. There are also ongoing extensive archaeological investigations under way and new findings may require changes to the PEIR.”

Our response indicated that we did not support the short tunnel and, in particular, would prefer to see the Western portal located outside the boundary of the World Heritage Site. We also raised a number of concerns about the Eastern portal.

We have written to the Highways Agency to indicate that we wish to be involved in the consultation announced by the Government.