Unesco, Britain, World Heritage Site, Stonehenge Stone Circle

Unesco, Britain

UK court rejects govt plans for Stonehenge road tunnel

UK court overturns government approval for the construction of a controversial road tunnel close to Stonehenge stone circle, following widespread opposition

7/31/2021 11:15:00 AM

UK court overturns government approval for the construction of a controversial road tunnel close to Stonehenge stone circle, following widespread opposition

Court ruling comes after UNESCO confirmed that the prehistoric site would be added to its 'in danger' list and warned it could lose its World Heritage Site status.

"Incredible news. Hugs all around," the Stonehenge Alliance tweeted after the ruling.Highways England had applied for permission in 2018 to build a new 13-kilometre section of an existing main road, including a new 3.3 kilometre tunnel.The road would cross the UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Historian Tom Holland, who has campaigned against the plan, tweeted that the decision was "wonderful news"."Hoping the Government will accept this ruling, & save the £2 billion of taxpayers' money they were planning to blow on a shameful act of desecration," he added.

Highways England tweeted that it was "hugely disappointed by the decision".It said it would now have to wait while the Department for Transport "considers its options".Court rules Schapp provided insufficient legal materialShapps last year opted to ignore the advice of a panel of expert planning inspectors who recommended refusing the application. He said the benefits of the scheme outweighed its disadvantages. headtopics.com

The court stressed that its ruling was not on the merits of the scheme, but on the legality of the minister's granting of approval.It ruled that Shapps was not given "legally sufficient material" to allow him to assess the impact of the scheme on individual elements of the heritage site.

It also ruled that Shapps and the panel of planners did not consider two alternative options as they were legally obliged to do: a longer tunnel that would start and end outside the World Heritage Site and adding a cover to the sections of open road in the proposed scheme. 

Read more: TRT World »

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