Stonehenge A303 Road Improvement Scheme

Looking towards Stonehenge from King Barrows Ridge

The Stonehenge Landscape is one of the most important prehistoric landscapes in Europe.

We own, manage and provide access to over 800 hectares (2,100 acres) of the World Heritage Site and we take our responsibility to care for it very seriously.

The A303 cuts through the heart of the World Heritage Site, harming the setting of many of the 350 burial mounds and monuments scattered across the landscape and preventing access to the southern two-thirds of the site. 

The benefits of a tunnel

We welcome the Government’s plan to invest in a fully bored tunnel of at least 2.9km (1.8 miles), removing a large part of the existing surface A303 from the Stonehenge Landscape.

The design put forward by Highways England - and currently in the 'examination phase' of the planning process - includes a 3.2km (2 mile) tunnel, which incorporates a 3.0km bored tunnel with a 200m grass-covered canopy at the western end. The road in this part of the World Heritage Site has steep-sided cuttings in order to hide it. 

We believe the scheme, if well designed and delivered with the utmost care, represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to reunite much of the Stonehenge Landscape - restoring many sight lines between monuments, benefiting nature and allowing people more opportunity to explore.

Working with our partners

We are working closely with our partners to help inform and challenge Highways England to deliver a scheme that protects the OUV of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.

We will continue to work with Government and other key parties, including UNESCO and ICOMOS, to find a solution that both protects the World Heritage Site and finally addresses the major adverse impacts the existing A303 has on this extraordinary place.

Latest updates

02 Oct 19

Examination phase of the planning application closes

The examination phase of the planning application (Development Consent Order or DCO) for the proposed A303 road improvement scheme at Stonehenge has closed. The Examining Authority now has three months to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State, who will then have a further three months in which to announce a final decision.

Visitors walking in Stonehenge Landscape

26 Sep 19

Our position on the compulsory acquisition of our land

We have removed our objection to the compulsory acquisition of National Trust land required for the proposed A303 road improvement scheme. You can read more here

More on our position

Stonehenge World Heritage Site

03 May 19

Our follow up response to the planning application submitted by Highways England

We have submitted our follow up response (Written Representation) to Highways England's planning application for a road improvement scheme at Stonehenge. The Examining Authority will now review all the submissions ahead of a number of Issue Specific Hearings which begin on 4 June.

If you would like to read our follow up Written Representation, you can download it here

Looking towards Stonehenge from King Barrows Ridge