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High Court throws out Stonehenge tunnel challenge

Deniz Huseyin
21 February 2024
Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site (SSWHS) challenged plans for a two-mile tunnel
Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site (SSWHS) challenged plans for a two-mile tunnel

A campaign group has lost its legal challenge against the Government’s approval of National Highways’ plans for a two-mile tunnel beneath Stonehenge.  

Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site (SSWHS) challenged plans for a tunnel on part of the A303 near the site. The £2.5bn road scheme will see the A303 turned from a single to dual carriageway for eight miles between Amesbury and Berwick Down.

In July 2023 transport secretary Mark Harper approved the plan, two years after a High Court ruling against the decision-making process (LTT 873).

Mr Justice dismissed the application on Monday 19 February after a three-day hearing in the High Court in December.

John Adams, chair of the Stonehenge Alliance, said: “In the face of Government indifference to the harm this road will cause the World Heritage Site, we had no choice but to bring this legal action. 

“While this judgement is a huge blow and exposes the site to National Highway’s state sponsored vandalism, we will continue the fight. In the dying days of this Conservative Government, which has inflicted so much damage on the country, we cannot let it destroy our heritage as well.”

SSWHS raised over £80,000 for its legal challenge, and will now have to raise a further £15,000 in order to apply for permission to appeal at the Court of Appeal. If a hearing is granted, a further £40,000 could be required, said SSWHS.

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