State of conservation of the World Heritage Property "Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites" (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
The World Heritage Centre has received numerous messages from citizens and NGOs expressing their concerns regarding the announcement by the United Kingdom’s government of the preferred route and tunnel, to widen the highway A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down that runs across the World Heritage property “Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites”.
The World Heritage Centre is fully informed of the concerns raised by the citizens’ campaign and the state of conservation of the property is being monitored closely with the competent authorities of the State Party of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as well as the Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Convention (ICOMOS) in accordance with the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
The World Heritage Centre has recalled the World Heritage Committee’s 41st session Decision 41 COM 7B.56 (Krakow, 2017) which urges the State Party to explore further options with a view to avoiding impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. Two joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS advisory missions to the property took place in October 2015 and January 2017 at the request of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Committee’s decision and the mission reports are available on the web-site for public consultation at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/soc/3652 and https://whc.unesco.org/document/141037 and https://whc.unesco.org/document/158727
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B.Add,
- Recalling Decision 35 COM.7B.116, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),
- Takes note with satisfaction of the management achievements, and progress with implementation of previous Committee Decisions, to address protection and management issues identified in the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) for the property;
- Commends the State Party for having invited two Advisory missions to advise on the process for determining and evaluating options for the proposed upgrading of the main A303 road across the property, as part of a wide major infrastructure project;
- Expresses concern that the 2.9km Stonehenge tunnel options and their associated 2.2km of dual carriageway approach roads within the property that are under consideration, would impact adversely the OUV of the property;
- Urges the State Party to explore further options with a view to avoiding impacts on the OUV of the property, including:
- The F10 non-tunnel by-pass option to the south of the property,
- 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;
- Encourages the State Party to address the findings and implement the recommendations of both Advisory missions and to invite further World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory missions to the property, to be financed by the State Party, in order to continue to facilitate progress towards an optimal solution for the widening of the A303 to ensure no adverse impact on the OUV of the property;
- Requests the State Party to manage the timing of the consent and other statutory processes for the A303 trunk road project to ensure that the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and the World Heritage Committee can continue to contribute to the evaluation and decision-making processes at appropriate stages;
- Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, 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 42nd session in 2018.