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Stonehenge Visitor Centre - Planning Application Approved
by Simon at 17:23 20/01/10 (Blogs::Simon)
Just got back from the Wiltshire Council Strategic Planning Committee meeting where, after more than an hour's debate, approval was given to English Heritage's plans for a new visitor centre at Airman's Corner.

This is excellent news.

The vote was 12:1 in favour, with two minor amendments to the plan as published:

1) Condition 6 - transit system from VC to monument - was altered so that no construction of VC can take place until the transit system design is agreed

2) Condition 27 - restrictions on use of VC after hours - was removed.

Impression of the meeting? Well, I think it's fair to say the majority view was "If we don't do this now, it'll drag on for another 20 years".

It will mean much more open access to Stonehenge via the World Heritage Site - local residents retain their free entry rights - and unless you actually want to park and ride from the VC itself you won't have to pay at all (there are plans for increased pedestrian/bicycle access from the borders of the WHS).

Traffic regulation orders for Byway 12 are subject to another discussion, but expect Byway 12 to become restricted. Ordinarily I'm against restricting rights of way, but in this case it's sensible to avoid fly parking and hordes of cars trying to bump their way across the Cursus from Larkhill.

[edit: clarification from one of the Wiltshire Councillors "We delegated power to officers to grant permission when they've checked the environmental issues mentioned are OK"]

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