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World Heritage Convention

Decision 42 COM 7B.32
Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) (C 373bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM.7B.56, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Commends the State Party for inviting three Advisory missions to advise on the proposed upgrading of the main A303 road, (which currently bisects the property), as part of a major infrastructure project;
  4. Notes the additional investigations undertaken by the State Party to consider the southern surface (F10) by-pass route and alternative alignment and longer tunnel options to remove dual carriageway cuttings from the property, and further detailed investigations regarding tunnel alignment and both east and west portal locations;
  5. Also notes the findings and recommendations of the 2018 Advisory mission, particularly that, although the current ‘Proposed Scheme’ shows improvement compared with previous plans and would also improve the situation in the centre of the property, the rigorous investigation, evaluation, iterative design and assessment process has revealed that, if the current length of tunnel solution is pursued, the damage inflicted by the dual carriageway cuttings would impact adversely on integrity and the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and therefore the proposed A303 upgrade project should not proceed with the current length of the tunnel;
  6. Notes with concern the impacts of the current design of the dual carriageway on the property, especially at the western end;
  7. Urges the State Party to continue to explore further design refinement, with a view to avoiding impact on the OUV of the property, including longer tunnel options that do not require an open dual carriageway cutting within the property and to avoid impact due to noise, lighting and visibility; and urges furthermore, the State Party to minimize the length of the culvert part of the tunnel in order to reduce the impact on the cultural landscape and the archaeology;
  8. Requests the State Party to address the findings and implement the recommendations of the March 2018 Advisory mission and encourages the State Party to continue to facilitate progress towards an optimal solution for the widening of the A303 with a view to avoiding adverse impact on the OUV of the property;
  9. Further notes that the State Party has advised that it will manage the timing of the consent and other statutory processes for the A303 trunk road project to take into account Committee Decisions and to ensure that the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and the Committee can continue to contribute to the evaluation and decision-making processes at appropriate stages of the project;
  10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019.
Decisions adopted during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee (Manama, 2018)
Context of Decision