Ministers have been told that Stonehenge could become the latest heritage site in the United Kingdom to lose its UNESCO status as a £1.7 billion Government plan to build a new road and tunnel there could endanger its antiquity.
The world’s most recognisable rock monument, in Salisbury, is expected to be next in line to face the axe from the UN-backed agency who are said to be contemplating putting it on its in danger list.
Stonehenge Avebury and Associated Sites were granted UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1986, meaning it has cultural, historical, or scientific value deemed to be of exceptional significance to humanity.
But a Government-backed plot for a new project to build a tunnel under Stonehenge could see Stonehenge denuded of its status.
£1.7 billion plans from the Transport Secretary to turn eight miles of the A303 into a dual carriageway, with a two-mile tunnel, was given the go-ahead in November 2020.
It comes as Liverpool leaders had earlier blasted UNESCO bureaucrats on the other side of the world who removed the city’s World Heritage Site status after a covert ballot vote, and Chris Blanford, chief of World Heritage UK, accused ministers of showing a great reluctance to want to make the most of their World Heritage offer.
He told a newspaper outlet that these are places of international significance and that they were the best of our cultural heritage, and that at a time when we’re out of the EU and wanted to be taken seriously, why not use these incredible assets of such significance to help us do that?
The committee behind UNESCO’s heritage committee has warned ministers that Stonehenge will be relegated to its danger list if proposals for the £1.7 billion tunnel moves ahead.
It comes after Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, ignored planning inspectors and approved a tunnel to turn the A303 into a dual carriageway that runs for two miles under Stonehenge.
The UNESCO heritage committee said the planned tunnel length remained inadequate to preserve the outstanding universal value.
Instead, the organisation proposed a longer tunnel with an entrance and exit far enough away from Stonehenge to prevent a highly adverse and irreversible impact.
Protesters are also fighting the Government’s plan, as a panel of expert inspectors recommended development approval be delayed because the project would substantially and permanently harm the integrity and authenticity of the site.
Anyone involved in the building of this stupendous tunnel beneath this historical site should be put on trial for gross vandalism.
But it’s Grant Shapps and this tunnel that could destroy Stonehenge, and even his planning inspectorate warned against it, saying it could cause substantial damage, but then his ego is more important than any expert advice, but that’s a typical arrogant politician for you.
Stonehenge is possibly the world’s most well-known prehistoric monument, and it was created in several stages. The first monument was an early henge monument, built approximately 5,000 years ago and the unique stone circle was constructed in the late Neolithic period around 2500 BC.
And for a small number of jumped up overpaid bureaucrats to suddenly act as if they own the planets heritage sites seems a bit pompous, and the world would be better off if these people put their combined wages together so that they could hire people to look after these heritage sites, rather than paying for suits to exist purely to cast judgement.