Public inquiry on Stonehenge plan (or, "When will it end?")
Plans for a £67m visitor centre at Stonehenge, complete with its own rail link, are to go to a public inquiry.
Salisbury District Council approved the plans last week but the plans were "called in" by the government.
The plans were already turned down once by the district council over environmental fears, but approved after an appeal and consultation.
The government said the scheme was called in because "the proposals raise issues of more than local importance".
Government planners also wanted to consider the centre's indirect involvement with plans to upgrade the A303 and Stonehenge to World Heritage Site status.
Council planners in Salisbury had previously approved the scheme under the condition the road was upgraded to include a tunnel.
The planning inspector will now carry out another inquiry and will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Local Government, Ruth Kelly, who will have a final say on the matter.
A Salisbury District Council spokesman said there had already been two consultations on the centre at a cost of £10,000 each plus staff costs.
Councillor Richard Britton, leader of Salisbury District Council, said: "It is unfortunate that this issue is to be the subject of yet another public enquiry.
"We had hoped that, by making our approval subject to a number of conditions, the issue would have been resolved.
"We are extremely concerned with the further financial burden this inquiry will place on the council. The expense involved with such a process could be very significant indeed."
Posted by The Eternal
30th August 2006ce