MEMBERS have voted against changing the National Trust’s position regarding the Stonehenge Tunnel project at its recent AGM.
The project has proved controversial with many groups, such as the Stonehenge Alliance, set up to oppose it.
More than 127,000 members voted on six resolutions and elected seven new members of the National Trust Council at the charity’s AGM which was held at the Bath Assembly Rooms on November 5.
The resolution was proposed by Dr Kate Fielden and seconded by John Adams, OBE, both of whom are members of the Trust and supporters of the Stonehenge Alliance. Resolution 5 Stonehenge, which called for the Trust to drop its support, was not carried with just over 30,000 members voting in favour, but over 81,000 voting against.
A spokesperson for the National Trust, said: “The existing traffic-clogged A303 severely damages the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, impacting hundreds of ancient monuments as well as wildlife. This cannot continue. The Trust cares for over 840 hectares of the landscape, and has been a proud custodian of this special place for nearly a century – a role we take extremely seriously. We support the government’s plan to remove most of the harmful existing A303 and place it in a tunnel deep underground.”
René Olivieri, chair of the National Trust’s Board of Trustees, said: “We are grateful that so many of our members were able to join us at our Annual General Meeting, either in person or online, and we would like to thank them and the many thousands of other members who took the time to vote on the resolutions and for new Council members. The Board of Trustees will reflect on the outcomes of the voting and we will be back in touch with members through our usual channels in the coming weeks.”
She added: “It is very important to me that we listen to and consider diverse views on our work and future. We are privileged to have such dedicated and passionate people supporting the National Trust.”
Ahead of the AGM, the Stonehenge Alliance’s website asked opponents of the tunnel to write to the Trust to change its support for the project. It stated that the Trust should only consider ‘road building as an option of last resort, and certainly not through a World Heritage Site’. Adding that: ‘Under any other circumstances it is almost unthinkable that an independent, national conservation body would support a major infrastructure scheme so harmful to a World Heritage Site’.