21 December 2018
The opportunity to formally object to the highly damaging A303 Stonehenge Expressway has come.
The registration period has opened and you have until 11 January 2019 to object. The controversial new road, includes a tunnel constructed in the World Heritage site despite widespread objections from many including UNESCO, the UN agency responsible for preserving World Heritage sites.
Campaign for Better Transport, along with the Stonehenge Alliance, is urging all those who are concerned about the threat Highways England’s road building plans pose to an iconic national asset to register their concerns with the Planning Inspectorate. Registration does not commit you to doing anything more; but it is important that the panel of planning inspectors understands the strength of public concern.
This is one of the most controversial road schemes in recent memory, but the time frame given for the public to register concerns is one of the shortest of any road scheme over the past few years. And to top that, it is happening over the Christmas and New Year holiday period, with the registration period closing on 11 January 2019.
For such a contentious scheme, and one of significant public interest, the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to run this process over the Christmas holiday is not ideal. A lot of people are very busy at this time of year, making it difficult for them to find time to reply. Opening the registration period early in the New Year would have been preferable.
The form is simple to complete, and we would encourage you to share with your friends, family and colleagues and ask them to also object. You will need to say why you object, but you won’t need to go into great detail.
You may object to the scheme because of one of the reasons below, or for a different reason:
- It will cause irreparable damage to the World Heritage site, its archaeology and setting, described by UNESCO as a ‘landscape without parallel’.
- UNESCO’s international advisers say the scheme should not go ahead in its present form.
- The unresolved concerns about damage to Blick Mead Mesolithic site and its setting.
- The lack of alternative options in consultation that would not damage the World Heritage site.
- Disturbance of rare bird species, including the stone curlew and great bustard.
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 In Public, which is likely to start sometime in February 2019.The Examination, which is mostly carried out in writing, will last for six months.