Wiltshire

Stonehenge car park resurfacing plans rejected

Stonehenge in Wiltshire Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption More than 1.3 million people have visited the prehistoric monument since the opening of the £27m visitor centre in December 2013

A plan to resurface an overflow car park at Stonehenge has been turned down by the local authority.

English Heritage wanted to replace the grass car park with a hard surface to cope with more visitors since a new £27m visitor centre opened in 2013.

Wiltshire Council planners voted by eight votes to two to reject the idea, despite it being recommended for approval by officers.

It was refused on the grounds of visual impact on the landscape.

The existing overflow car park contains space for 133 cars and is made of reinforced grass, but English Heritage said it becomes "dangerous and muddy" in wet weather.

English Heritage said it was disappointed by the decision and would "review the options open to us".

A spokesman said: "We believe these changes would improve the overall experience of visitors to Stonehenge.

"Enormous care had been taken in preparing the application, the planning officer at Wiltshire County Council had recommended that the application be approved, and Wiltshire Highways supported the proposal in principle, highlighting that no additional parking spaces were proposed."

More than 1.3 million people have visited the prehistoric monument since the opening of the new visitor centre in December 2013.

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