Issue - meetings

A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down Road Scheme

Meeting: 14/03/2017 - Cabinet (Item 35)

35 A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down Road Scheme

 Report by Dr Carlton Brand, Corporate Director

Supporting documents:


 Councillor Fleur de Rhé-Philipe presented a report which informed Members of the route options appraisal methodology and outcome selected by Highways England to take to public consultation; sough to confirm the Council’s response to the public consultation; and asked Cabinet to note the resource and financial implications for the Council with regard to this road improvement scheme.


The Leader invited Dr Andy Shuttleworth, Chair of Winterbourne Stoke Parish Council who had submitted a statement as circulated in the Agenda Supplement; Henry Colthurst; and Councillor Ian West, local division member, to address the meeting.


Issues discussed in the course of the meeting included: the impacts of the various proposals; the history or previous proposals and the views of various stakeholders.


In presenting her report, Councillor Fleur de Rhé-Philipe emphasised that plans were at the initial stage and it was important for the Council to express its support in principle to enable a more detailed plan to be consulted on. It was at that point, she hoped, that further improvements could be sought to mitigate the concerns of the community. However a delay at this time could jeopardise the project which currently had central government funding attached to it.


In response to some of the matters raised in the course of the debate, Councillor Fleur de Rhé-Philipe proposed two additional resolutions to clarify the Council’s position.


Following a debate, the Cabinet;




1.    To note the contents of this report


2.    To agree the proposed response to Highways England for this options appraisal and route selection public consultation


3.    To note the additional potential financial implications arising as a result of this scheme, which will require more detailed discussion as the preferred route is established.


4.    To restate the Council’s support in principle for the proposal from HE to bring about substantial improvements to the a303 at Stonehenge by building a dual carriageway and tunnel, subject to the comments listed in Appendix 1 of the report presented.


5.    To welcome the input from the local community and any technical and information support they can supply.


Reason for Decision:


The case for dualling the A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down has long been established through promoting economic growth in the South West, increasing safety, improving connectivity with neighbouring regions and protecting and enhancing the environment Highways England have assessed approximately 60 historic routes and identified the 2.9km tunnel with a bypass either North or South of Winterbourne Stoke as the better performing and more deliverable route. Whilst there are several issues which will require resolution as the design is further developed, on the whole officers believe that both options are capable of addressing the transport, economic, heritage and community issues associated with the A303. They will also enable the timeframe dictated by the Development Consent Order (DCO) process to be met, achieving start on site by March 2020.