Snow tries to bury resurrected A303 scheme

11/12/2023
Chris Ames

Campaigners have returned to the High Court after ministers again overruled their own planning inspectors to back National Highways' controversial plans to build a tunnel for the A303 at Stonehenge.

Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site (SSWHS) said its legal action, which begins on Tuesday (12 December) and is set to last three days is ‘the only thing stopping the bulldozers from entering this 5,000-year-old landscape’.

Historian and television presenter Dan Snow, British, said: ‘It’s astonishing that the Government is persisting with such a damaging scheme when there’s so much opposition. Even UNESCO opposes it. They’ve got to come up with something better.

‘Simply cutting right through one of the most important archaeological sites on planet earth shows little respect for humanity or our heritage. There are plenty of other solutions that could reduce traffic past Stonehenge.’

The first report from the Planning Inspectorate, in January 2020 recommended that National Highways’ application for development consent should be refused but in November 2020 transport secretary Grant Shapps approved the scheme.

In July 2021, the High Court quashed the Development Consent Order but two years later current transport secretary Mark Harper granted a new order, leading to SSWHS launching a new legal challenge.

SSWHS said it raised the £80,000 needed to bring its latest action in just over four months.

It is arguing that the new grant of development consent was unlawful on the following grounds because, among other reasons, it was procedurally unfair for Mr Harper not to subject his ‘re-determination’ to a full public re-examination.

Solicitor Rowan Smith of Leigh Day said: ‘Despite this road development being so controversial, and despite important new matters which required proper scrutiny, the secretary of state ignored calls for a fresh public examination.

‘Our clients consider that was unfair and potentially a breach of human rights. Also, no regard whatsoever was given to the risk that Stonehenge would lose its world heritage status if plans were approved, which our clients say was plainly irrational.’

David Bullock, A303 Stonehenge project director for National Highways, said: 'We acknowledge there is a clear process for any legal challenge, we are taking part in that legal process and we remain confident this scheme is the best solution for tackling a long-standing traffic bottleneck, improving journeys, bringing much needed relief to local communities and boosting the economy in the south-west, while conserving and enhancing the World Heritage Site.

'In the meantime, and following the granting of the scheme’s Development Consent Order, we are continuing to plan and make preparations for starting preliminary work and archaeology fieldwork on site in 2024.'

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

ALSO INSIDE:

  • The Road Safety Manifesto
  • The IHE welcomes its new President
View the latest issue


Highways jobs

Senior Transport Planner

Competitive plus benefits
Senior Transport Planner Peterborough / Hybrid working   28 days' annual leave plus bank holidays Company car or car allowance plus fuel or charge ... Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Helena Copping

Highway Inspections Technical Support Officer

Salary
Staffordshire County Council
Recruiter: Staffordshire County Council

Light Vehicle Mechanic

Grade 8 £14.26 - £15.25 per hour
We are looking for a highly motivated Light Vehicle Mechanic to join our County Transport team Derbyshire
Recruiter: Derbyshire County Council

Light Vehicle Mechanic

Grade 8 £14.26 - £15.25 per hour
We are looking for a highly motivated Light Vehicle Mechanic to join our County Transport team Derbyshire / Ambergate
Recruiter: Derbyshire County Council

Programme Assistant (Capital Programme Team) - WMF1265e

Grade 9 £32,076 - £33,024
The Capital Programme team is responsible for the core delivery of the Council’s c.£60m/year Capital Programme Cumbria
Recruiter: Westmorland and Furness Council

Project Manager - Parking Services - WMF1269e

Project Manager - Parking Services - WMF1269e
Would you like to be part of our journey and make a positive impact on our area? Cumbria
Recruiter: Westmorland and Furness Council

Highways Engagement Officer - WMF1266e

£32,076 - £33,024
We are excited to offer this permanent opportunity covering the 3 locality areas of Westmorland and Furness Council Cumbria
Recruiter: Westmorland and Furness Council

Supervising Technician

£33,024.00 - £35,745.00, Grade 8, 37 hours, Permanent
We are an award winning enthusiastic team who pride themselves on providing a top class Transport Service. Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Wakefield Council

Heavy Goods Vehicle / Light Vehicle Mechanic

£14.26 - £15.25 per hour – (2024/25 pay award pending) plus market leading package (see below)
You will need to be suitably experienced, hold a minimum of an NVQ Level 2 (or equivalent) vocational County Transport – Brimington Workshops
Recruiter: Derbyshire County Council

Highways Area Steward - WMF1272e

Grade 11 £35,745 - £36,648 Package
We have an exciting opportunity for the right candidate to take that next step in their career Cumbria
Recruiter: Westmorland and Furness Council

Civil Enforcement Officers

£23,893 - £25,119
We’re looking for Civil Enforcement officers to join our parking services team. Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire Council

Senior Projects Engineer

£49,854 - £56,565 per annum
Deliver projects that elevate everyday life in a Royal Borough. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Highway Adoptions and Agreements Technician

£32,076 - £33,945
North Northamptonshire is growing and evolving rapidly as a Council and as a Community. Northampton, Northamptonshire
Recruiter: North Northamptonshire Council

Traffic Installation Technician

Competitive
Traffic Installation TechnicianWhen you join our Engineering Team at Telent, you'll be empowered to innovate and drive common solutions, working close England, West Yorkshire, Leeds
Recruiter: Telent

Highway Permit Scheme Manager

£42,403 - £48,474 per annum . Incremental progression subject to performance
We are offering an exciting opportunity to join our Highway Works Permit Team Solihull, West Midlands
Recruiter: Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Community Highway Officer

£36,648 - £41,418
It’s an exciting time to join our Highways Team. Staffordshire
Recruiter: Staffordshire County Council

Community Highway Technician

£36,648- £41,418
It’s an exciting time to join our Highways Team. Staffordshire
Recruiter: Staffordshire County Council

Information Engineer

£42,403 - £46,464
It's an exciting time to join our Highways Team. Staffordshire
Recruiter: Staffordshire County Council

Chargehand Driver HGV x6

£36,100 - £37,384
Street Services provides a highly important service to all the borough’s residents and visitors Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Highways Development Control Manager

£50,512 - £53,204 plus benefits.
A permanent opportunity has arisen within the Highways Development Control Team. Wirral, Merseyside
Recruiter: Wirral Borough Council

Highways Presents

 


Latest Video