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Opponents hold out for longer Stonehenge tunnel

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ENGLISH HERITAGE squared up to the National Trust last week as the opening round of the A303 Stonehenge public inquiry got under way in Salisbury.

English Heritage, which owns the 5,000 year old monument in trust for the nation, is putting its support behind the Highways Agency's controversial 2km long bored tunnel.

This puts it in direct opposition to the National Trust, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and druids, which all argue that the tunnel should be longer.

The proposed tunnel will take the road out of sight of the stones but its entrance portals will still be within the Stonehenge world heritage site, they argue.

Speaking on Friday, English Heritage expert witness Christopher Young argued that the £200M Highways Agency scheme is the most realistic solution.

'A long tunnel would deliver more benefits but is not on offer.

If we had felt this scheme did not deliver the benefits we would have recommended its rejection, ' he said.

The inquiry will continue until the end of April and will hear from more than 100 witnesses representing 50 interest groups.

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