The UK Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps has given Development Consent to construct the 3.2km long twin-tube Stonehenge Tunnel as part of a new section of dual carriageway on the A303 between Amesbury’s Countess roundabout and the dual carriageway section to the west of Winterbourne Stoke.
The application was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration by Highways England on 19 October 2018 and accepted for examination on 16 November 2018. Following an examination during which the public, statutory consultees and interested parties were given the opportunity to give evidence to the Examining Authority, a recommendation was made to the Secretary of State on 2 January 2020.
This is the 97th Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project and the 34th transport scheme to be examined by the Planning Inspectorate and given Development Consent. The examination of the application was completed within the statutory timescale of six months followed by a recommendation made to the Secretary of State for Transport. This provides developers and investors with the confidence to build and improve the transport networks this country needs.
The Planning Inspectorate’s Chief Executive, Sarah Richards said:
“There has been a great deal of public interest in this project. A major priority for us over the course of the examination was to ensure that communities who might be affected by this proposal had the opportunity to put forward their views. As always, the Examining Authority gave careful consideration to these before reaching its conclusion.”
The decision by the Secretary of State for Transport, the recommendation made by the Examining Authority to the Secretary of State and the evidence considered by the Examining Authority in reaching its recommendation is publicly available on the National Infrastructure Planning website.