Since the Stonehenge A303 tunnel scheme consultation process ended at the end of April, it would seem like all has gone quiet. However there has been a lot going on behind the scenes.
UNESCO have been surveying the scheme and producing their own response; UNESCO are the body who award World Heritage Site status to a place and have the powers to rescind that World Heritage Status if the location no longer meets the criteria of that status. The Stonehenge part of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage site is mainly granted on the OUV (the Outstanding Universal Value). Stonehenge is a unique setting in that you can still use it for the purpose to which it is thought it was once created, at each solstice. It is also a unique landscape due to its sheer amount of monuments available for study in such a small area. Blick Mead falls within the boudaries of the World Heritage Site and as such must be included in any evaluation of that World Heritage Site status.
In their latest response to the A303 tunnel scheme, UNESCO have retained their opinion that the tunnel is the wrong course of action and, in its present form, it should not go ahead. It is the general thought that the bypass option or a longer tunnel are better options and should be further looked into.
Further to UNESCO’s report and in direct response to fears put forward by Archaeologists including those from Blick Mead, in a great turn of events the A303 tunnel will be debated in parliament on 5th June at 4:30pm. Please write to your MP and ask them to attend this debate and if you would like to attend you can go to St Stephen’s entrance 30 minutes before it is due to start.