Our initial response to the planning application submitted by Highways England

Stonehenge World Heritage Site

We have responded to Highways England’s planning application (Development Consent Order or DCO) for the proposed A303 road improvement scheme at Stonehenge. In our submission (Relevant Representation), we’ve reiterated our belief in the potential benefits of the scheme but set out the areas where we think there is more work to be done.

Our position remains unchanged. We believe the scheme, if designed and delivered well, represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to reunite the Stonehenge Landscape - restoring sight lines between monuments, benefiting nature and allowing people more opportunity to explore. 

There are, however, areas where we believe improvements need to be made and a greater level of detail needs to be specified to ensure the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value (special qualities) of the World Heritage Site. 

In order to build the proposed scheme, Highways England would need to compulsorily acquire ‘inalienable’ land (land owned by the National Trust which cannot be sold or built on without our consent). Whilst we are unable to sanction the purchase of this land at this stage in the DCO process, we can remove the objection once we are fully satisfied that the detail is right and we are confident the sale will be beneficial to the public and to the World Heritage Site.

You can read our full Relevant Representation here:

Relevant Representation A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down (Stonehenge) (PDF / 0.0537109375MB) download

Looking towards Stonehenge from King Barrows Ridge

Stonehenge A303 Road Improvement Scheme

The surface A303 divides the Stonehenge World Heritage Site - one of the most important prehistoric landscapes in Europe. We believe the proposed road improvement could provide an overall benefit to the whole World Heritage Site, providing it is well designed and delivered with the utmost care.