Wiltshire

Stonehenge tunnel plans submitted to Planning Inspectorate

Stonehenge Image copyright PA
Image caption The plans, submitted by Highways England, would see for a 1.9-mile (3km) road tunnel built near Stonehenge

Plans for a road tunnel near Stonehenge have been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.

Highways England (HE) said it has applied for a development consent order to build a 1.9-mile (3km) road tunnel past the monument.

The government wants to build the tunnel to hide the busy A303, but opponents claim it could destroy archaeological treasures.

Inspectors have 28 days to decide whether to accept the plans.

The tunnel is part of a £1.6bn programme to upgrade the A303, which links the M3 from London to the M5 in the south west.

A public consultation into the scheme ended on 23 April.

An HE spokesman said there was "no change to the plans in principle", presented at statutory consultation.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Opposition groups have objected to the proposed tunnel

The agency said the design would "restore the tranquil environment and setting of the monument".

Opposition groups claim it could scar the landscape irreparably.

In April, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (Icomos) described the plans as "severely flawed" while The Stonehenge Alliance - a campaign group which includes archaeologists and environmental campaigners - said the work threatened the area's "fragile archaeology".

If accepted, the inspectorate will carry out a detailed examination before making a recommendation to the Secretary of State.

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