Stonehenge tunnel: new details submitted for £1.7bn project

National Highways has published fresh information, including new environmental documents outlining its plans to develop the controversial Stonehenge tunnel on the A303.

The updated plans that have been submitted include new environmental documents, after the High Court overturned the planning permission on environmental grounds in July 2021.

The court had ruled that transport secretary Grant Shapps had not received a sufficient briefing on the scheme’s heritage impact near the world-famous Stonehenge site, while the secretary of state had also failed to consider alternative proposals for the tunnel, including one to extend it further westwards.

The case had been brought to the court by Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site campaigners.

The court also ruled that Shapps had not considered alternatives to the route proposed by National Highways, but the road body said in a response that it stood by the plans it had initially drawn up.

The £1.7bn proposal includes plans for a 13km two-lane dual carriageway on the A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down, part of which will be tunnelled over for 3.3km. The plans also include a northern bypass at Winterbourne Stoke with a viaduct over the River Till valley, and two new junctions between the A303, and the A345 and A360.

Shapps has now called for responses to the updated plan as part of the next stage of “redetermining” the project. Interested parties have until midnight on April 4 to submit responses.

National Highways A303 Stonehenge project manager David Bullock said: “We’re confident that this is the best solution for solving the traffic problems on the A303 in the context of Stonehenge and the surrounding World Heritage Site landscape.”

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