A303 Stonehenge

Representations received regarding A303 Stonehenge

The list below includes all those who registered to put their case on A303 Stonehenge and their relevant representations.

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Fiona Frank
" The creation of a A303 Stonehenge Expressway would cause irreparable damage to the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge, thus affecting its archaeology and setting, described by UNESCO as a ‘landscape without parallel’. I believe that UNESCO’s international advisers say the scheme should not go ahead in its present form which surely must be considered. Archeologically it is such a sensitive site and there are big concerns about damage to the Blick Mead Mesolithic site and its setting. Why are there not any alternative options presented in this consultation that would seek NOT to damage this World Heritage Site. It seems a bit of a mockery to me. Stonehenge is our legacy from our ancestors and we do have human rights to see and access this site without compromise in this desecratory manner. The proposals would obviously cause a loss of the view from the road and impose costs for the people in order to even see the Stones in the future with this inflexible proposal. As a keen bird watcher, I am aware of more disturbances with this turbulent desecration and that is the disturbance of rare bird species such as the Stone Curlew and the Great Bustard. Our country is small and suffering with promise of such so called relief roads etc.... actually you need to provide excellent affordable public transport. Please recognise the dreadful impact of these proposals. It is obvious that there will be also increased noise from faster traffic as another negative impact. Please respect our environment before we have nothing but a derelict spaghetti of concrete and pollution. This is a serious plea. After 11 January a panel of planning Inspectors will be appointed, known as the “Examining Authority”. They will review the representations and outline their proposals for the Examination which is likely to start sometime in February 2019. The Examination, which is mostly carried out in writing and not by cross-examination, will only last for 6 months which is an incredibly short period to address some pretty major issues. This will put a lot of pressure on bodies such as the Stonehenge Alliance, which do not have the benefit of huge resources, unlike Highways England which will throw vast sums of public money at this examination and employ numerous consultants. Apart from the increased noise from faster traffic, there will be irreparable damage to the WHS, its archaeology and setting, described by UNESCO as a ‘landscape without parallel’. It is nothing less than sacrilege to an ancient site of unique heritage to our world , nevermind our country. Would you do this to the pyramids? Are you aware that UNESCO’s international advisers say the scheme should not go ahead in its present form? It seems that there are a lack of alternative options in consultation that would not damage the World Heritage Site. Why? This does not seem a fair and balanced process. One great travesty could be the loss of the view from the road and the enforced need to pay to even see the Stones in the future, if this should be permitted to happen. Archeologically speaking, there are grave concerns about damage to Blick Mead Mesolithic site and its setting. They are precious sites of important evidence about our forefathers and our ancestral inheritance. Have you even thought about the natural world around this site, that supports a great deal of wildlife? We are not a huge country and more and more wild spaces are being eroded by roads and building. Here you will be disturbing and threatening many creatures including rare birds such as the once prolific Stone Curlew and the Great Bustard, whom are now finding it already a challenge to survive. Please, please rethink this whole project, because there are 1000s of years involved in this and we cannot reclaim it once you have ploughed roads through this area of outstanding global recognition."
Keren Burney
"I would be making a representation in support of key points laid out by the Stonehenge Alliance; also in connection with personal experience of the value of Stonehenge and its surrounding place. For example, for all of my life my family and I have enjoyed the view of Stonehenge, on trips to Devon for holidays; and nowadays it is to see family who have moved from Hampsire to Devon. We are thrilled by the sight of the stones, which is an inherent part of our psyche, our being and our happiness. We can see where we come from in this view, which adds to our state of mental health and inner security. I also understand that UNESCO described this area as a ‘landscape without parallel’, and that the body's international advisers say the scheme should not go ahead in its present form. I am very worried about the damage that would be caused to all of the sacred mounds, which my Dad always said were burial mounds for old kings and other people. Who knows what is in there? We should not be touching them, particularly to create a new road-scheme. I believe in the future of public transport and not road transport. We should be guarding wildlife and the countryside, not digging it up. I am also worried about reports of damage to birdlife, for example the increasingly rare Stone Curlew, other birdlife in the area and the newly introduced and successful Great Bustard. Thank you for your consideration of these points. "
Lord Kennet
"As Lord Kennet, I am privileged to be a long standing supporter of the Stonehenge Alliance, it´s positions and it´s policies regarding the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site. My family are longstanding residents on a National Trust Property - Lockeridge Dene - which my grandfather presented to the NT upon its inception. Sarsen stones from Lockeridge may have been transported to Stonehenge for incorporation into the monument. Throughout my long family association with these monuments and with their WHS status, it has been very clear - obvious, even - that minimum-to-no intervention at the sites is in their best interests. There is a widely held belief that the WHS site is seen as a cash cow to support Historic England, English Heritage and the National Trust in their "stewardship" of the sites. This is against the intentions of the original donors of Stonehenge to the nation, one hundred years ago, and remains contrary to common sense and any understanding or appreciation of amenity value or the "intrinsic" nature of a WHS listing. The Stonehenge Alliance has consistently denounced and warned against any engineering interventions at the sites - calls which have fallen on self-deafened ears. Sensible plans to address the issues of traffic management have been rejected before being considered. In particular, the Ministry of Defence stands accused for not permitting MoD land to be considered for a simple northern by-pass of the henge site, outside the WHS zone. As funding departments, the Department of Transport and the Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs must also take their share of the responsibility for permitting this travesty and tragedy to continue to eat at the soul of Stonehenge for so long. The desecration in December 2018 of the platform at Blick Mead is a shameful proof that even by Highways England´s own perverse standards of conservation and investigation, the agency is unwilling or incapable of observing any known standards, even for this type of "exploratory" engineering, even at a hero site. Scientific consensus exists that the proposed tunnel will permanently and irreversibly alter the water table and other hydrological metrics at the site, so destroying unique artefactsootprints, ancient constructions and other evidence. A complete halt to the profoundly misguided and dangerous programme under review must be imposed immediately. No further interventions in the site may occur. The damaged Blick Mead must be put in the hands of academic archaeologists, independent of HE and supported by all legitimate interest groups. There must be a clear brief to protect the remains to the best of their ability, and for their reports and recommendations to be accepted fully by HE and others when considering any work at all, including remedial work and management of the existing damage at Blick Mead, in or around the WHS. An alternative policy and strategy must be presented to allow the present destructive policies to be retired without further incident or damage to the site. Failure to do so will bring further shame and humiliation on the agencies involved and named above, as well as upon our nation. Failure to act now to protect the most famous and beloved of all World Heritage Sites will demonstrate the hypocrisy, the misplaced profiteering and the contempt for civic societal norms for which the agencies are, regrettably, becoming known. Lord Kennet San Antonio, Texas - home of the threatened Alamo and San Antonio Missions WHS 12 December 2018 "
David P Marson
"The main point I wish to make is that I know the tunnel has to be built but it has to be long enough to eleminate traffic noise from the monument and that no part of the road, cuttings and associated structures should be seen from the site. This has to be a joint venture between the road builders and the Stonehenge alliance with any findings during construction to be examined thoroughly and further construction to be delayed till Stonehenge alliance has finished with the find. This may add to the cost but as Stonehenge is the most important historical site in the country, I’m sure the general public will not mind bearing the extra."
Mrs Lindsay Cutts
"I was saddened to hear of the habitat disturbance at Blickmead recently and really cannot understand why certain parties still intend to carry on with detrimental work in the area. Having grown up near Salisbury I obviously want the best for Stonehenge and at present I fail to see that the planning enhances the environment from an historical and an aesthetic point of view. Please consider the recommendations made by the Stonehenge Alliance and the World Heritage Organisation."
Carole Mora
"I was born in the U.S.A. and have been a resident here all my life. However, my ancestry is nearly 80% British. I have visited the U.K. a few times and was able to visit Stonehenge in December 2006. At that time I was a bit concerned about the proximity of the gift shop near the entrance because the atmosphere verged on that of a "theme park". The recent plans to further develop the area near and around this ancient site would be a further encroachment on this special place. I believe that there is now an opportunity to create policies that would protect Stonehenge and places like it, from being overly commercialized and/or damaged by overdevelopment in adjoining areas. I want to express my support of initiatives to prevent the routing of roadways too near this important historical site. I strongly believe that the dual carriageway and tunnel construction would have a negative impact on this site and support the efforts of the Stonehenge Alliance Team in this regard."
Peter Varley
"I wish to register my personal objection to the plan to dig a tunnel under Stonehenge. At the time of my birth, my parents lived in Amesbury, about three miles from Stonehenge, and Stonehenge is part of my personal heritage as well as being a World Heritage Site. I note with great concern the UNESCO assessment of the tunnel plans, as reported by the Stonehenge Alliance here: [redacted] I also object on environmental and economic grounds. Briefly, (a) all new roads induce traffic, making it harder to meet decarbonisation targets, and (b) I have observed from personal experience at the M4 Black Route public enquiry how official economic estimates give a wildly over-optimistic assessment of the value of road projects. I may expand on these points in due course. "
Rescue, The British Archaeological Trust
"Rescue is a non-political organisation dedicated to supporting archaeology. We receive no state support and are entirely dependent on the contributions of our members to support our work. We have been campaigning since our foundation in 1971 to support the cause of British archaeology. Our Council follows developments at Stonehenge and we have published articles on Stonehenge planning matters in our newsletters to members. We object to the A303 Stonehenge Preferred Route and changes proposed to it, on our own account and as a supporter-organisation of the Stonehenge Alliance. Our objections may be summarised as follows. We are particularly concerned about the damage the proposed road engineering and associated works would do to the World Heritage Site (WHS): its archaeology, fabric, setting and integrity, both during construction and in operation. Key monument groups would be permanently separated from one another and the designed landscape substantially modified each end of the tunnel, making it impossible for future generations to experience the WHS in its form at designation and less easy for them to gain better understanding about it now and as knowledge improves over time. We question the validity of the Heritage Impact Assessment undertaken for the WHS which considers impacts on attributes of Outstanding Universal Value but fails fully to assess damage to the WHS itself. We are concerned about loss of views of Stonehenge to road users. The A303 scheme contravenes the 1972 World Heritage Convention under which our Government is committed to protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of the WHS in its entirety. Crucial elements of the advice of three joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS advisory missions to Stonehenge and of the World Heritage Committee in 2017 and 2018 have not been followed. The A303 scheme is contrary to national and local planning policy for the WHS. Little regard appears to be given to the NPSNN section on the historic environment, notably paras. 5.129 and 5.131. The scheme also appears to conflict with the Valetta and European Landscape Conventions. We deplore the absence of archaeological evaluation reports in Highways England’s application documentation. Known information about the archaeology along the scheme corridor includes important evidence of boundaries, burials, settlement remains and flint scatters. Much of this evidence is within or just below the ploughsoil where remains are fragmentary, demanding careful and time-consuming excavation before development, along with full reporting and assured long-term storage of finds. The application documentation indicates tunnel boring machine vibrations could impact on a long barrow. It is suggested that the situation would be monitored but no remedy is offered for damaging impacts. Is there potential for damage to other archaeological known or unknown remains, such as fragile inhumations, on or close to the tunnel? There are concerns about possible changes in groundwater flow at Blick Mead resulting from road and/or tunnel engineering. This important site lies close to and probably partly under the A303 and proposed Countess flyover. The scheme would also impact adversely on the Amesbury Conservation Area, Listed Countess Farm Barns and Amesbury Abbey with its registered parkland. "
Paul C. Chaney
"If English Heritage exalt Stonehenge as “....one of the wonders of the world and the best known prehistoric monument in Europe.” Then why would Highways England go against highly respected Archaeologists and Academics, such as those from Stonehenge Alliance and UNESCO, whom profess that the Expressway would irrevocably damage this World Heritage Site?! Surely this proposal lays-bare the belief that the Ultimate Agenda is NOT the Conservation of Stonehenge, this Unrivalled glimpse of Neolithic Life, preserving her for All of our future peoples, but is purely Financially driven! Would it not be more Honest & Open to simply “Dismantle” her in one go (rather than this drawn-out affair) and Auction her up into Oblivion?!"
The Campaign to Protect Rural England - Wiltshire
"CPRE Wiltshire Branch objects to the A303 Preferred Route and proposed alterations as an individual charity and as a supporter of the Stonehenge Alliance of NGOs. Our objections, supported by CPRE nationally, are substantially based on planning policy considerations, the World Heritage Site (WHS) Management Plan, and the Government’s commitments under the World Heritage Convention. Our concerns about the proper protection of the WHS and its setting are underlined by the advice given to the Government by joint Advisory Missions of international specialists and UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to seek alternative options for the A303 scheme that would not impact adversely on the WHS and its Outstanding Universal Value. Highways England’s third key objective for the scheme, ‘to help conserve and enhance the WHS’ could not be met. Images of the completed scheme fail to show the contrasting impact of major alterations to the landscape, the extent of future signage, lighting and other infrastructure, and increased traffic on the Expressway. Full information is lacking on the hydrogeology of the WHS, giving rise to uncertainty concerning the potential for adverse impacts on the integrity of the River Avon SAC from construction of the tunnel (pollution and changes in groundwater movement). Furthermore, there would be adverse impacts on the integrity of the Stone Curlew population of the Salisbury Plain SPA during construction and operation of the road scheme, as well as adverse impacts on the Annex I Great Bustard population. The scheme proposals may be in breach of the Habitats Regulations and Habitats Directive and appear also to breach certain considerations and articles of Directive 2014/52/EU. There is no convincing evidence to show that the scheme would meet its fourth ‘broad objective’: ‘to improve biodiversity’. We are concerned about impacts of the scheme on the archaeology along the Preferred Route, especially within the WHS and its setting, despite lack of information concerning evaluations undertaken. There is little recognition or understanding of the WHS as an exceptional “landscape without parallel”. There would be further destruction of the integrity of the Nile Clumps, part of the former Amesbury Abbey park, with the restoration of which CPRE has been involved. There would be adverse visual impacts on Listed buildings, Registered parkland and the Amesbury Conservation Area. We note assessment of the scheme’s low value for money and that it would be poor value for money without the benefit of a questionable ‘heritage contingent valuation’. Convincing evidence that the scheme would bring economic benefit to the South West (another of the scheme’s four ‘broad objectives’) is absent – as is a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the impacts of the different scheme proposals planned for the A303/A358 corridor, both individually and in combination: essential to establishing the credibility and practicality of that aim. Finally, we again raise concern that consultation on scheme options avoiding the WHS was absent – as was full information on discarded options such that informed decisions could be made. We are also concerned about Highways England’s misleading statements concerning apparent benefits of the scheme. "