Controversial Stonehenge tunnel plans to go before the High Court

Plans for a tunnel near Stonehenge are set to go before the High Court after being challenged by campaigners.

Controversial plans to build a tunnel near Stonehenge are set to go before the High Court.

Campaigners from Save Stonehenge World Heritage (SSWHS) are challenging Transport Secretary Grant Schapps’ decision to green-light the development.

Mr Shapps approved the £1.7billion plan to overhaul eight miles of the A303, including the two-mile tunnel, last November.

This was despite advice from Planning Inspectorate officials that it would cause “permanent, irreversible harm” to the historic monument in Wiltshire.

Campaigners argue the tunnel would damage the historic site. Credit: PA

A three-day hearing at the High Court in London is expected to start today (23 June).

‘It is a sad day’

In a statement before the hearing, SSWHS director John Adams suggested the new road would threaten Stonehenge’s World Heritage status.

SSWHS Secretary Kate Fielden added: "It is a sad day when legal action is our only option to prevent irreparable damage to the surroundings of Stonehenge, that crowning symbol of our heritage.

The Department for Transport (DoT) maintains the need for the development outweighs any possible “harm” caused.

"The Secretary of State is satisfied that, on balance, the need case for the development together with the other benefits identified outweigh any harm,” the DoT said.

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