Page last updated at 11:05 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 12:05 UK

Stonehenge centre plans unveiled

Planned visitor centre at Stonehenge
The planned centre has been designed by architects Denton Corker Marshall

Proposals for a new £25m visitor centre at Stonehenge have been unveiled by English Heritage.

Plans for the centre, at Airman's Corner to the west of the stones, have been submitted to Wiltshire Council.

English Heritage, which hopes for some National Lottery funding, also wants to close the A344, which runs just yards away from the landmark.

The new centre would not be visible from the stones, but would be linked using a transit system for visitors.

The plans are "sensitive to its surroundings and to the significance of the monument", English Heritage says.

The new centre is designed to blend into the World Heritage landscape
Loraine Knowles, English Heritage

In May, the government gave the charity's proposals the "go-ahead in principle".

They are dependent both on planning permission being granted and funding being found.

English Heritage hope that some of the cash will come from National Lottery money.

Exhibitions, a cafe, shop and toilets will be housed in a pair of single-storey areas, one glass and the other timber-enclosed, which would sit beneath an undulating roof.

A four-trailer transport system, similar to that used in the Eden Project in Cornwall, would ferry visitors from the centre to the stones.

The charity's Loraine Knowles, said: "The new centre is designed to blend into the World Heritage landscape which visitors will pass through on their way to the stones."

If approved, work on the centre would begin in 2011.

The A344 and the nearby A303 road have been blamed for degrading the environment around Stonehenge.

In 2007, the government scrapped plans to build a tunnel for the A303 as it passed the area.



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SEE ALSO
Stonehenge centre gets go-ahead
13 May 09 |  Wiltshire
Stonehenge road closure proposal
15 Jul 08 |  Wiltshire
Public say in Stonehenge future
01 Jul 08 |  Wiltshire

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