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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 July 2005, 19:52 GMT 20:52 UK
Stonehenge centre plans refused
Stonehenge
Planned changes to roads at Stonehenge would cost 470m
Plans for a 67m visitor centre at Stonehenge have been turned down over worries about the environment.

Salisbury District Council said the decision to refuse the plan was "exacerbated by government plans" to review upgrades to the nearby A303.

It said without the separate upgrade scheme taking place, the current visitor centre plans would not guarantee "safe access on to the A303".

English Heritage, who submitted the plans, was "surprised" by the decision.

When the upgrades to the route were first announced in 2002, costs were estimated to be 183m, but this has now risen to 470m.

"We believe that the grounds for refusal are ones which can easily be addressed
English Heritage

Salisbury District Council leader, Kevin Wren, said: "This council has always supported the broad objective of improving the facilities for Stonehenge.

"But we also have a duty to our local residents and community and that has led to the decision taken tonight."

A statement issued on Wednesday by English Heritage, said it was "surprised and disappointed" by the decision.

"Approval was recommended by the planning authority and the scheme was also approved by the Northern Area Committee of Salisbury District Council at its meeting of 19 July 2005," the statement said.

"We believe that the grounds for refusal are ones which can easily be addressed and will be discussing with Salisbury District Council when to re-submit the scheme."

The National Trust called for Government action.

"English Heritage's plans are only one part of the vision to re-unite the Stones with their landscape and improve the experience for visitors," said Fiona Reynolds, director general of the trust.

"There remains an urgent need for government, through its recently announced review of road scheme options at Stonehenge, to deliver a suitable road scheme that ends the blight of traffic around one of the world's greatest heritage sites."


SEE ALSO:
Hold-up fears for Henge project
16 Mar 05 |  Wiltshire
Stonehenge views 'disappointing'
26 Oct 04 |  Wiltshire


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