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The ancient Stonehenge site in Wiltshire has caused fresh controversy, as plans to build a dual carriageway and road tunnel at the site have been announced. The plans are said to relieve traffic on the A303, but have been met with stark criticism from The International Council on Monuments and Sites (Icomos), an advisory body on World Heritage Sites.

The plans, which are due to affect those travelling on holidays in English country cottages among others, have been under much discussion, as English Heritage has stated that the bottleneck road was “highly detrimental” to the ancient monument. Some are in favour of the tunnel, with druid Frank Somers, who featured in a previous Hideaways article, reporting in the Guardian, ‘As a druid, I’d welcome the tunnel under Stonehenge,’ but ‘we are apprehensive about how these plans might be executed.’

“Very real need to address the issue”

Icomos said, as reported in this article, that “We appreciate the very real need to address the issue of the A303 and recognise that a tunnel could have beneficial impacts on parts of the World Heritage property,” before going on to say, “However, we are concerned that associated portals and dual carriageways could have a highly adverse impact on other parts of the World Heritage landscape that cannot be set aside, however great the benefits of a tunnel.”

Also announced this week, another ancient site in the Wiltshire area has made headlines; a detailed plan of a medieval city has been uncovered at the 11th Century Old Sarum near Salisbury. The plan has been laid out with no digging needed whatsoever as the latest scanning techniques have been used.

Found in the scan was a series of large structures, which are suggested to be defences, and open areas of ground, which are thought to be for mustering resources or people.

This new find, along with the possible plans for traffic around Stonehenge, are to be of huge interest among those who regularly stay in Wiltshire cottage rentals, as the developments and discoveries mark a huge change for the area.