Stonehenge visitor centre in balance
From the Telegraph:
"Plans to build a £20 million pound visitor centre at Stonehenge in time for the 2012 Olympics are under threat because of a major row between Britain's two leading heritage organisations.
The National Trust and English Heritage, who are part of a committee set up to ensure the centre is built in time for the games, have clashed over the proposed location for the new building.
English Heritage, the government body, which is responsible for the day to day running of the World Heritage site wants to build the new visitor centre and car park on a piece of land known as the Fargo plantation.
But the National Trust, which owns a large chunk of the land surrounding the 5,000-year-old site is refusing to support the proposal because it says that the installation of such a significant construction would breach the site's World Heritage status.
It wants to build the centre on a site called Airman's Cross which is further away from the stones. Under this proposal visitors would be ferried to the stones via a new transit system.
The row is a major blow for the Government which announced last year that a new centre would be built in time for the expected influx of visitors in 2012.
Barbara Follett, the Heritage Minister had been expected to announce the proposed location last week but has now postponed the decision to January because of the deadlock.
Supporters of the new centre are adamant that if it is to be built on time than a planning application must be lodged with Salisbury Council within the first three months of next year.
If both heritage bodies fail to reach a compromise than either side could force a planning inquiry which would add further delays to the proposals.
Supporters of the new proposal believe that the money for the project will not be forthcoming if it can't be completed in time for the games."
Posted by baza
22nd December 2008ce
Edited 22nd December 2008ce