British High Court Reverses Decision to Build Tunnel Near StonehengeProtecting the 5,000 year old UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Historians, environmentalists, archaeologists and tourists can rest easy, as the British High Court has ruled that it is unlawful to build a tunnel near the hallowed Stonehenge grounds.
Despite first being approved by Conservative transport secretary, Grant Shapps, Mr. Justice Holgate stated today, that Mr. Shapps decision was both irrational and unlawful, on the basis that he did not provide adequate alternative methods, and more importantly, his report did not include any of the potential effects the tunnel could have caused to the UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back 5,000 years.
Amongst the many organizations that voiced their concern against the £1.7bn GBP project, the Stonehenge Alliance said in a past statement, that the construction would cause road widening that would damage parts of the surrounding area. A land, that if carefully maintained, can still provide a breadth of archeological clues to the past. Supporters of the group went on to state, “Ideally, such a tunnel would begin and end outside the world heritage site. But now that we are facing a climate emergency, it is all the more important that this ruling should be a wake-up call for the government.”
On the flip side of the conversation, a spokesperson from English Heritage, the group that oversees the grounds, told CNN back in November of 2020, that replacing the congested A303 road with a tunnel, would “transform Stonehenge, reunite the landscape and allow people to not only better enjoy and understand the ancient stones but to explore the surrounding countryside and discover its many other fascinating prehistoric monuments.”
As the court changed the ruling today, they will carefully review on the best path forward.
Elsewhere in the news, the legendary British sculptor Phillip King has passed away.