Letter: English Heritage and questions of monumental responsibility

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The Independent Online
Sir: News of drastic cuts in expenditure on our national heritage comes at a time when English Heritage is forging ahead with a major new tourist project at Stonehenge, rumoured to be costing pounds 15m to pounds 20m.

Admittedly, the present visitor facilities are a disgrace. But a huge multi-purpose complex with parking for nearly 800 vehicles, within the World Heritage Site, is neither desirable nor necessary as an alternative, especially when it requires an entirely new access road through a mile of marvellous and archaeologically rich landscape.

Statements made in the House of Commons and in English Heritage's publicity material indicate that Stonehenge may be managed by a 'private developer' or a 'new Conservation Trust', a policy that seems to be in line with recent alarming proposals for other heritage sites. English Heritage should think again and look for a less expensive and less environmentally damaging option at Stonehenge before the public inquiry into its scheme next March.

Yours faithfully,


Alton Priors, Wiltshire