Don't sell Stonehenge short, urge experts

Public enquiry to examine open space around Stonehenge

A public inquiry into one of the nation’s most famous landscapes has started after decades of wrangling on the open space around Stonehenge. The Government’s proposal to dig a 2.1km tunnel to take a road under the world heritage site has angered the National Trust, which feels it is not long enough to guarantee the integrity of the iconic site. Martyn Heighton, the trust’s territory director, said the inquiry needed to ensure the “spirit of place, landscape and archaeological interest of Stonehenge" was kept. He worried sensitive ridgelines would be destroyed. “We cannot sell Stonehenge short," he said. The site, once described as “a national disgrace”, is being overhauled with a £60 million scheme including tidying up landscape and building a new visitor center. Denton Corker Marshall’s design for the center will “seamlessly blend into the landscape,” said English Heritage chairman Sir Neil Cossons. The building is due to open in 2006, with the landscape design evolving over a longer period.

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