A Statement of Matters’ has been published on the Planning Inspectorate website, inviting National Highways to respond on the five areas the Department for Transport wish to consider further. Interested Parties will be invited to comment on these representations at a later date. We are pleased the Government remains committed to addressing the problem of the current A303 and the damage it causes to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.
Stonehenge A303 Road Improvement Scheme
The Stonehenge Landscape is one of the most important prehistoric landscapes in Europe.
We care for over 2,100 acres (800 hectares) of the World Heritage Site and we take our responsibility to protect it very seriously.
The current surface A303 cuts through the heart of the World Heritage Site, harming the setting of many of the 400 sites and monuments scattered across the landscape and preventing people from exploring two thirds of this incredible place.
The benefits of a tunnel
We welcome the Government’s plan to invest in a two mile long tunnel, removing a large part of the existing surface A303 that damages the Stonehenge Landscape.
If designed and delivered with the utmost care, it will finally reunite this prehistoric landscape, protecting the special qualities of the World Heritage Site, reconnecting habitats and helping people to discover and enjoy more of the landscape.
The proposed scheme has been through its ‘examination phase’ (part of the Development Consent Order or DCO process) and the ‘Examining Authority’ made its recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport. The Secretary of State granted consent on 12 November 2020.
Working with our partners
We continue to believe in the long-term benefits of the proposed road scheme for people, history and wildlife and we are working closely with our partners to help inform and challenge Highways England to deliver a scheme that protects the special qualities of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site and finally addresses the major harm the existing A303 does to this extraordinary place.
30 Nov 21
Start of redetermination: Statement of Matters published
10 Aug 21
Redetermination of DCO
The Transport Secretary is to redetermine the decision to make a Development Consent Order for the A303 Stonehenge scheme. Details of the redetermination process will be published in a ‘statement of matters’ – which will be made available on the Planning Inspectorate website. The ambition of the National Trust for the Stonehenge landscape remains as it has always been: to address the damage caused by the current road as it passes through the landscape and reunite the World Heritage Site.
30 Jul 21
Judicial Review Judgement
A decision to grant the Development Consent Order (the planning consent needed to build the A303 tunnel scheme) was taken by the Secretary of State for Transport in November 2020.
A claim for Judicial Review about the decision was brought, and it was heard in June 2021.
The Judicial Review is about the process of decision making, not the relative merits of the scheme. The court upheld two of the 10 grounds challenged, which had the effect of quashing the Development Consent Order.
It is now a matter for the government to decide how to respond.