STONEHENGE AND THE A303
Earlier this year the government issued a new set of plans for a tunnel under part of the Stonehenge World Heritage site following the rejection by the archaeological community of their 2017 proposal. The major change from the 2017 plans was to move the western portal of the tunnel north to a position just south of the existing A303 with a surface route running between The Diamond and the Winterbourne Stoke barrow group before crossing the A360 to join a new roundabout to the west of the current Longbarrow Roundabout. This “preferred route” for the A303 would then bypass Winterbourne Stoke to the north. Once again there has been a lengthy public consultation which finished on 23rd April to which CBA Wessex and the national body of CBA responded and we await the outcome of that consultation.
Highways England have reacted to the many responses to the consultation by making three changes to their initial proposals. They are :-
To remove the proposed link between Byways 11 and 12 within the World Heritage Site. We (as well as many other respondents) argued specifically for this change in our response and are pleased that Highways England have accepted this recommendation.
To widen the green bridge near the Longbarrow crossroads – we supported this change.
To modify the proposed Rollestone crossroads junction. We supported this relatively minor change.
Highways England asked for responses to these changes with a new deadline of 14th August 2018.
December 2018 update
On 19th October Highways England submitted a Development Consent Order for the Scheme which was accepted for examination on 16th November by the Planning Inspectorate. The Inspectorate will now arrange a detailed examination of the application, in which stakeholders and the public can participate, before making a recommendation to the Secretary of State who will make a final decision on the Scheme, (probably sometime during the first half of 2020). CBA Wessex have been registered as an “Interested Party” so that we could make representations on the Scheme, in writing rather than by cross-examination, if we chose to do so.