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Cullinan back on the road to Stonehenge visitor centre

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Edward Cullinan Architects' plans to design a new visitor centre for Stonehenge were given fresh impetus this week as the government launched its funding scheme for a 2km tunnel and dual carriageway near the stones.

Under Prescott's roads review, the A303 alongside the stones will be upgraded to a dual carriageway and hidden from the monument in a cut-and- cover tunnel, opening up the chance to close part of the A344 and relocate and redevelop the visitor centre - famously branded 'a national disgrace' - to the Fargo North site. At least £40 million of the £125 million A303 road and tunnel scheme will be met by 'heritage sources' and construction will start in five to seven years.

English Heritage chairman Sir Jocelyn Stevens said: 'We will at last be able to reunite Stonehenge with the prehistoric landscape and to offer the public safe access throughout the World Heritage Site.'

A spokesperson added that proposals for a new visitor centre were not yet worked up but that eh was 'regularly in touch' with Cullinan's on the matter. 'We'll get them working on a scheme as soon as we can,' she said.

Culture secretary Chris Smith is to visit Amesbury in September to gauge the views of locals and the local authority.

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