A303 Stonehenge, Amesbury and Berwick Down

A303 Stonehenge Tunnel Statutory Consultation

In 2013, the Government announced that it was launching a feasibility study about options for creating an Expressway to the South West, including options for the A303 alongside Stonehenge.

In 2017 a non-statutory consultation on route options took place and we prepared a response agreed by our Board., based on consultation with our members.

In February 2018, Highways England announced a Statutory consultation on the Preferred Route which closed on 23 April 2018.

On 18 April 2018, we published our response to the Statutory consultation that has been agreed by our Board following a consultation with our members .

Key points:-

  • We understand that the government has decided that improving the route of the A303 will take place and that to ‘do nothing’ is therefore not an option.
  • We welcome the level of detail presented in this consultation and the open consultation that has taken place.
  • As we highlighted in our response to the March 2017 consultation, we feel that Southern Route (Option 2 of those proposed in 2017) was the best option to preserve the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the Stonehenge part of the World Heritage Site.
  • We are disappointed that no discussions have taken place on the long-term archaeological storage of archives resulting from excavation and survey.
  • The downgrading of the A303 will significantly reduce the severance of the northern and southern parts of the WHS, but the new cutting will create a new and permanent severance.
  • We welcome the removal of traffic from the vicinity of the stones.
  • We agree that the entire length within the WHS of Byways 11 and 12 should be downgraded for the use of non-motorised use only. There should be no new byway created to link Byways 11 and 12.
  • We would expect a detailed study on local hydrology to ensure that there is no impact on water-logged deposits alongside the River Avon. There are sensitive peat deposits in the valley of the River Avon as well as nationally significant Mesolithic sites, including Blick Mead.
  • We feel that the current Scheme will have a significant impact on the OUV of the WHS. Our view remains that the tunnel should be extended beyond the boundaries of the WHS and we feel that it is especially important that the western tunnel portal is located outside the WHS.
  • We do not endorse the current Scheme and our response to the consultation has been given with the aim of minimising its impact on the WHS.

A303 Stonehenge: supplementary Consultation - July 2018

Highways England launched a supplementary consultation concerning three proposed changes - see the Highways England consultation page for details.

Our A303 Working Group drafted a response that has been agreed by our Board. This follows the principles established in our response to the Statutory Consultation. The 2018 Supplementary Consultation response is published here and will be submitted to Highways England before the consultation closes on 14 August.

A303 Development Control Order - November 2018

The Planning Inspectorate approved the submission of a Development Control Order in November 2018. Full details are on the A303 Stonehenge section of the Planning Inspectorate website. WANHS registered as an Interested Party and commented on the application at one of the hearings, on the basis of the earlier response.

The Examination closed on 02 October 2019. The Planning Inspectorate will submit a recommendation to the Secretary of State by 2 January 2020. The Secretary of State will take a decision by 2 April 2020.

A303 National Highways Response to the UNESCO Mission report

In 2020, National Highways invited comments on their response to the UNESCO Mission. We submitted a brief response that restated our agreed position.


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