You are currently browsing the daily archive for 14/03/2019.

First, the good news: If you damage a scheduled monument with a bulldozer English Heritage will ensure you’re punished (ask Mr Penny – he was fined and very nearly jailed for damaging the Priddy Circles), but if you get a contract to damage the Stonehenge World Heritage landscape with lots of bulldozers, they’ll say you’re doing improvement work and you’ll be fine.

However, there are 3 big risks for would-be contractors:
1.) Mr Parody of Highways England has said: “potential contractors are nervous about the risk of tunnelling at a World Heritage Site. The things still being addressed that are perhaps making people slightly restless is say, the risk allocation. For example the archelogy [sic] where does the archology [sic] risk sit?” And (amazingly): “I didn’t list archaeology as a challenge as the archaeology of the WHS is really well understood. We know what’s there ….” (Er, no, no-one knows everything that’s there and, as a potential contractor, you would be wise to be very worried about that!)

2.) and 3.) There are also dire financial and reputational risks, as recently explained by Adam Woods on the FB page of the Stonehenge Alliance: If I was a construction company, thinking of bidding on driving a tunnel and associated works through a World Heritage Site, working to what was publicly acknowledged as an impossible budget. I would be very nervous, I would be looking for other projects to bid on” and:It could adversely affect my share price, give me very bad PR “the company that ruined Stonehenge” .

The company that ruined Stonehenge? ….. Not a good label to be stuck with forever more in Wiltshire, The Stock Exchange and across the world. So if you’re still determined to tender you’d be wise to pitch very, very high as it may cost you very dear in the end. Digging deep and wide across nearly a mile of Europe’s most precious pre-historic landscape involves multiple huge unknown archaeological risks and is unlikely to end well for anyone controlling a fleet of bulldozers displaying their name and logo. The spreading of asbestos close to the stones and the Blick Mead debacle were indicative of the many things that could go wrong and are only the start.


March 2019

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