Damage to the landscape and a risk of loss of World Heritage status are not the only consequence of Britain’s main heritage bodies defying UNESCO’s advice at Stonehenge. There could be wider consequences arising from their effective message that your judgements are valid if YOU alone believe they are!

Didn’t Shropshire Council take exactly that line when it voted to damage the setting of Oswestry Hill Fort? And haven’t Pegasus Group said much the same over destroying a Jacobean ceiling in Bristol: “Pegasus Group are ….. content that the works needed to be carried out to respect the safety of the building, and were done so lawfully in association with ongoing refurbishment works, irrespective of the outcome of the submitted planning application.”

English Heritage weren’t coy about seeing the Shropshire decision as regrettable and Historic England were equally upset about not being consulted at Bristol: “Had we been able to continue with our planned inspection of the building, before the ceiling was deliberately removed, we could have had constructive discussions with the owner about managing changes to the building in a way that respected its remaining historic features.”

But irony of ironies, both those organisations are blatantly ignoring UNESCO’s views at Stonehenge! How far will the ripples from that travel? Who in future will feel obliged to listen to either of them if it’s feared their advice would be inconvenient and they have already indicated that your judgements are valid providing YOU alone believe they are and it’s perfectly acceptable to ignore superior advice?