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Wed April 24 2024

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Stonehenge tunnel challenge fails

20 Feb Campaigners seeking to block construction of a road tunnel under the Stonehenge World Heritage Site have lost a second legal challenge.

CGI of the western portal of the planned Stonehenge tunnel
CGI of the western portal of the planned Stonehenge tunnel

Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site (SSWHS) has had some success in holding up the 拢2.5bn project to reduce a bottleneck on the A303 in Wiltshire. It managed to get the original development consent order (DCO) quashed by the courts in 2021 but National Highways managed to get another one last year.

The campaigners filed a High Court claim against the new DCO last summer but Mr Justice Holgate (the judge, David Holgate) has now handed judgment in favour of National Highways.

SSWHS said that they intend to appeal the decision.

John Adams, chair of the Stonehenge Alliance and one of the three directors of SSWHS, said:

鈥淚n the face of government indifference to the harm this road will cause the World Heritage Site, we had no choice but to bring this legal action. While this judgement is a huge blow and exposes the site to National Highway鈥檚 state sponsored vandalism, we will continue the fight. In the dying days of this Conservative government, which has inflicted so much damage on the country, we cannot let it destroy our heritage as well.鈥

Tom Holland, historian and president of the Stonehenge Alliance, said: 鈥淭his is a devastating loss, not just for everyone who has campaigned against the government鈥檚 pig-headed plans for the Stonehenge landscape, but for Britain, for the world, and for subsequent generations.鈥

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