The government has approved the construction of a controversial £1.7 billion road tunnel under Stonehenge, and candidates have vowed to continue their struggle against it.
Transport Minister Grant Shapps rejected the planning inspector’s proposal and approved a development consent order on Thursday that would turn the nearby A303 into a two-car tunnel under an ancient site.
Druids, green activists and archaeologists welcomed the decision in frustration. It is predicted that opponents will come from all over the world to protest the project.
The road plan aimed at solving the traffic bottleneck on the main road to the southwest of England caused strong disagreements. The History Museum of England and the National Trust believe that the diversion underground will improve the site.
The inspector’s report suggests reservations. The report was submitted in January but has not yet been made public. Planning permission will include mitigation work, and inspectors will confirm that there is a potential for “material damage” to the cultural heritage, landscape and visual impacts around Stonehenge.
British Heritage refers to this decision as “Stonehenge’s iconic anniversary.” The company’s CEO Kate Mavor said: “Placing the noisy and intrusive A303 in the tunnel will reunite Stonehenge with the surrounding prehistoric landscape and help future generations to better understand and Appreciate the wonders of this world.”
The English Road Agency stated that this will be a “sensitive and transformative” road plan that will restore the landscape to its original setting and speed up the journey to and from the southwest.
It will build an eight-mile-long two-lane road, including a two-mile-long tunnel under the World Heritage Site, which is about 50 meters from the stone compared to the existing A303 route. It said that these works will avoid important archaeological sites and will not infringe on the winter solstice sunset.
Derek Parody, the project leader of the plan, said it will “protect and improve” the site, and the road builder is working closely with British Heritage, National Trust, Historic England and the independent A303 Science Committee.
However, at least one member of the committee warned that half a million pieces of cultural relics could be lost in the construction of the tunnel. The entrance to the tunnel is located throughout the site.
The candidates have six weeks to seek judicial review of the decision in the High Court.
The Chairman of the Stonehenge Alliance, Tom Holland, initiated a petition that has attracted 125,000 signatures to block the plan. He said: “We will continue to oppose it because we think this is a disastrous decision for the millennium.”
Professor David Jacques, head of the Blick Mead archaeological project, said the decision was an international scandal. “This is absolutely puzzling. I am surprised that the government will approve the plan based on our findings, let alone all other ongoing projects,” he said.
The discoveries made by experts at Blick Mead help tell how ancient humans lived on the Stonehenge site since the Ice Age. The places found include well-preserved bison hoof prints, which are bison one and a half mile away from the stone circle.
Jacques said that very important materials will be lost. “This is a shockingly stupid decision. It will have an impact not only on Britain, but the entire world. This is not only about Stonehenge, but also about understanding the lives of prehistoric people. This is an international scandal. People should be ashamed. dejected.”
The Druid (Arthur Pendragon) is the incarnation of the Druid, claiming to be the incarnation of the former and future King of England.
He said: “This may be the biggest protest ever.” Pendragon is a veteran of past road protests, such as the Newbury bypass, and said he will stand in front of the bulldozer. Boris Johnson claimed that he would lie down in front of the bulldozer to block the third runway of Heathrow Airport. I would really lie in front of the bulldozer to prevent this. “
Pendragon said that the eastern portal will destroy archaeology, while the western portal “is actually in the sight of the winter solstice sunset.” He said: “If they really want to do this, they should use a longer tunnel to do it correctly, instead of popping up at both ends of the World Heritage Site.”
Stonehenge and Britain’s big idiot Rolo Maughfling said: “It’s a shame. Obviously, many important discoveries about ancient people are still in danger.”
Mark Bush, an attorney who advises opponents of the plan, said: “This decision was made on the recommendation of the Independent Plan Inspection Team, which caused Britain to seriously violate its obligations under the World Heritage Convention, an international treaty.
“This is a very important step. This decision will inevitably become the subject of judicial review.”
Andy Rond Touter, the former mayor of Amesbury and chairman of the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce, said: “The permission to desecrate one of the most important sights in the world, regardless of transportation proceeds, is totally shocking.”
Mike Pitts, editor of the British Archaeological Journal, said he had a different view of the decision, but Stonehenge’s “benefits to our experience and perceptions” “have great impact on everything from professional archaeologists to screen visitors. Is huge for everyone”