The Government’s plans to build a tunnel under Stonehenge have come under scrutiny as a public inquiry is launched into the project.

The Government argues the new road will reduce traffic congestion and improve visitor facilities. However, the Campaign to Protect Rural England is concerned that the tunnel needs to be longer to preserve the site.

Chairman of CPRE Wiltshire George McDonic said: ‘The scale and impact of the proposals would seriously damage the visual character of the area and substantially worsen the physical division of the World Heritage Site.’

The National Trust is also concerned that the plans need a rethink, saying: ‘Stonehenge is one of the world’s greatest heritage sites. The Trust does not believe that The Highways Agency’s present proposals amount to a solution that is fit for the unique quality of the site.’

English Heritage however, put out a statement saying it supports the proposals ‘?which will bring a number of major benefits to the Stonehenge site by removing the roads and traffic from the immediate vicinity of the stone circle. This will improve the visitor experience.’

If the scheme does meet approval following the inquiry work on the site is due to start some time next year.

National Trust

English Heritage

CPRE

Department of Culture, Media and Sport