As predicted, English Heritage, Historic England and The National Trust have stonewalled in response to UNESCO’s report on the short tunnel proposal. Here’s their statement in response:

“We’re disappointed that the report largely ignores both the benefits of removing a large stretch of the A303 and the danger of doing nothing at all. We believe that if well-designed and sited with the utmost care for the surrounding archaeology and chalk grassland landscape, the tunnel proposal presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide a setting worthy of some of the nation’s most important ancient monuments and will bring huge benefits in terms of public access, nature conservation and protecting the nation’s heritage.”

Yet it’s blatantly clear to all that UNESCO’s report doesn’t ignore the benefits of a short tunnel and doesn’t recommend doing nothing at all, it simply says it is “highly likely to bring adverse impacts” and “it is not considered satisfactory” to suggest the benefits can offset the damage and urges Britain “to explore further options“.

So the English Heritage / Historic England / National Trust statement says far more about them than they intended. To defy UNESCO is bad enough but to misrepresent what UNESCO said is even worse. We feel they would be better employed lobbying Government to take heed of what UNESCO is actually saying.