The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has granted development consent for the A303 Stonehenge tunnel scheme. We have a long-standing ambition to help resolve the ongoing damage caused by the current A303 as it passes through the Stonehenge Landscape. We will continue to work alongside Historic England and English Heritage to ensure the scheme delivers on its promise to protect the World Heritage Site and brings benefits for both people and nature.
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.
12 Nov 20
Planning permission granted by the Transport Secretary
16 Jul 20
A second new deadline for the Transport Secretary's decision
On 16 July 2020 the Government announced another new deadline for the Secretary of State to decide on Highways England’s application for an order granting development consent. The new deadline is 13 November 2020. This is the second extension to the deadline. It was previously extended from 2 April 2020 to 17 July 2020, and has now been extended to 13 November 2020.
29 Apr 20
New deadline set for Transport Secretary to make a decision
On 29 April 2020, the Department for Transport made an announcement about a new deadline for the Secretary of State's decision on Highways England’s application for an order granting development consent. The new deadline is 17 July 2020.