Plans for a two-mile road tunnel near Stonehenge have finally been approved despite warnings that it will cause “permanent irreversible harm” to the ancient site.
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, overruled a recommendation from planning officials yesterday, giving the scheme the green light and ending more than three decades of debate.
The £1.7 billion project will result in the A303 being widened to a dual carriageway and placed beneath the Unesco World Heritage Site.
The coalition government gave fresh backing to the scheme in 2014 and work was originally due to start in March this year. Construction is now due in 2023, with the road opening in full at some point in 2028.
The tunnel was first proposed in the late Eighties but has been