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13 April 2018
Proposed tunnel under Stonehenge raises new fears

In the UK, as part of the Government's planning policy, any matters which may affect the public on large scale projects has to be published as a 'Public Consultation' to allow anyone who is either affected by or interested/concerned in a project, to put forward their views, opinions or objections, to be taken into consideration as the planning process proceeds.
     Now new fears have been raised over the public consultation documents which have been issued with regard to the proposed tunnel under Stonehenge, in Wiltshire. The stones and surrounding area are designated as a World Heritage site and currently a major highway, the A303 which links the South East to the South West of England, cuts across the area, passing close by the stone circle.
     Recent improvements involving a relocated Visitor Centre have already eliminated a spur road past through the site but there have been long term plans to put the A303 into a tunnel, which it is hoped would ease congestion, pollution and improve the visual appearance of the area.
     Now fears have been raised by Professor Jacques, an archaeologist at the University of Buckingham (UK), that the route shown on the consultation documents is incorrect and that it would destroy invaluable features as well as affecting the water table which may, in turn, adversely affect the geological conditions in the area.
     In its defence Highways England (the Government Department in charge of the improvement scheme), via its spokesperson David Bullock, has stated that "The document in question is a land ownership boundary plan. The plan shows indicative general features and was never intended as a geographical map". The Public Consultation is open for comment and participation until 6th April 2018.

Edited from BBC News (5 February 2018)

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