The Council for British Archaeology has a long-established interest in the conservation and management of the World Heritage Site (WHS) around Stonehenge. Over the last year we have consulted our members, held an open public debate, and engaged with our trustees in updating our position statement on the management of the WHS. The final document
was agreed by members in General Meeting in November 2016 and contains three Cardinal Principles on which we have based our analysis of the latest proposals for the A303:
The CBA’s primary objectives are:
- To protect and conserve Stonehenge itself and its landscape of inter-related monuments
- To manage appropriately and plan for the whole WHS landscape whose prehistoric significance is now becoming increasingly clearly understood
- To further public understanding of the increasing significance
CBA Director, Dr Mike Heyworth, said:
“The CBA recognises that the latest proposals are an improvement on previous options (eg the 2.1k tunnel examined at public inquiry in 2004), but we still have considerable concerns about the impact of the tunnel portal locations and the new surface dual carriageways on the archaeological landscape and the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site, particularly at the western end.
We also have concerns that the implications for the eastern side of the WHS have not yet been sufficiently examined - and that not all the results of recent investigations and considerations, which would inform our view and that of others, are yet in the public domain.
We are therefore not able to support the current proposals, particularly due to the damage which would be done to the western side of the WHS by the proposed location of the portal and the new road build within the WHS, however we are keen to work constructively with Highways England and other stakeholders to find an achievable solution to ensure that the benefits of removing the A303 from the landscape around Stonehenge can be realised in the years to come.”
The CBA has offered to host a meeting to bring together specialists and other stakeholders to work with Highways England to find an achievable solution to ensure that the benefits of removing the A303 from the landscape around Stonehenge can be realised in the coming years.