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It’s a plain fact: 21 top archaeologists have announced they are opposed to the short tunnel yet Highways England is ignoring them and says: “We are working closely with key organisations within the World Heritage site, and we continue to find the best solution possible to improve journeys for drivers while also protecting Stonehenge.” But logic suggests that if Highways England was really focused on protecting Stonehenge it wouldn’t be “working closely” with the organisations answerable to the Government but with those 21 top archaeologists who aren’t. Yes?
So how could we have got to the brink of such a tragic position? Andy Brockman explains – see “Expert Submission poses Stonehenge dilemma for Historic England, English Heritage and National Trust“….
“Former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne changed Historic England’s mission from that of being primarily a conservation body and the Government’s arms length technical and legal advisor as guardian of England’s heritage, to one of supporting explicitly what the Government defines in the National Planning Policy Framework as “sustainable development”. If the Government is determined eventually to force through the short tunnel option on the basis that it represents such a sustainable solution to a national infrastructure issue, the archaeologists at Historic England could find themselves forced to defend, support, and even promote, a solution which the rest of the archaeological and heritage world views as utterly unacceptable, possibly because the senior management of the body might fear being further sidelined and starved of resources by a vengeful Whitehall and Downing Street.“