WANHS formal response to Stonehenge Visitor Centre
The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society has written to Judy Howles the Area Development Officer at Wiltshire Council in Salisbury with the following comments:
(25 November 2009)
Stonehenge Visitor Centre Planning Application: S/2009/1527/FULL
We write to comment on the Application. This covering letter provides an overview of our response
(attached) with reference to that document.
The Society has supported the preservation and presentation of Stonehenge for over a century (Section 2).
The Society agreed a formal position on the Stonehenge Visitor centre at its AGM in October 2009 and support for that position and concerns about the proposed site are specified in Sections 4, 5 and 6. In summary the Society welcomed the positive step forward taken by English Heritage in preparing proposals for a new Visitor Centre, but would prefer the Visitor Centre to be located outside the World Heritage Site and on brownfield land. There are a number of aspects that we welcome and warmly support including:
• the closure and grassing-over of the A344
• the removal of visitor facilities and car parking from the vicinity of Stonehenge
• the proposal for a new visitor transit route that will not require the construction of new roads within the World Heritage Site
• the closure to certain motorised vehicles of Byways 11 and 12
We have a number of concerns and make suggestions which we feel will improve the scheme and address some of the issues that we raise in our response:
• Additional screening of the proposed visitor facilities
• Reduction in the height of the visitor centre building
• Minimising the long term impact of the visitor centre by retaining existing slopes
• Minimising light pollution
We suggest that the application is accepted in part, but that a decision is deferred to allow Council Officers to negotiate amendments along the lines we suggest above, so that the scheme may proceed without substantial delay.
Apologies if this is 'old news' but some may not be aware of it.
Posted by tjj
7th December 2009ce
Edited 7th December 2009ce