Wednesday 14 September 2016

The Stonehenge Regulations 1997 - The Missing Plan

Statutory Instrument 1997 No. 2038 The Stonehenge Regulations 1997 makes reference to ; "the deposited plan" means the plan entitled "Plan referred to in the Stonehenge Regulations 1997", signed by the Head of the Buildings, Monuments and Sites Division of the Department of National Heritage and deposited for inspection at the offices of the Secretary of State for National Heritage."

So I asked the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, as the successor department incorporating "National Heritage", if they could inform me of the procedure to inspect the said plan as the regulations depend on being able to do so to determine the area of land covered by the regulations.

They sent a copy of the plan:

Click to enlarge 

Link to map overlain on Google's aerial photo which shows that the old A344 isn't included:
From Simon's comment below

But I replied I want to see the original, a copy has no legal standing, where is it and how can I get to inspect it.

They don't know, it is lost;  "I can confirm that the Department does not hold the original plan. You may wish to contact Historic England or English Heritage to find the information you are seeking." was the reply.

Without the plan the regulations would appear to be useless. Accused of transgressing them  a defence would be "show me the plan to prove I was within the area". The monument itself is protected under other laws anyway.

And of course the regulations have no penalty attached so are merely a civil matter anyway.


  1. Hi Tim,

    What is it that a member of the public might be able to do which couldn't be challenged because the plan is missing? Would such an act of "intrusion", or whatever other description, be covered as challengeable under the other existing laws?

    So is your query an alert which might be being looked into already, such that any potential loophole might be eliminated?

    I note that the copy has a chunk missing along a join through the centre of the monument.

    What's the security around that designated area these days, and is it secure enough to prevent access in the dead of night for some stellar don't have to answer, and I'm not planning to test it out!


  2. That's interesting - pretty much exactly the response I had a few years ago when I asked them, but they didn't send me a copy. With yours, I've overlaid it on Google Earth to see the extent of the area covered, and it makes it clear that the old A344 isn't included.

  3. ... perhaps Nigel Pittman has the original or knows where it is, as it seems from the annotation that he was involved either in drawing it up or approving it.

  4. This part of the old A344 can't have been included because it was an all-purpose public highway. There's no need for a plan to prove that the visitor centre boundary and the monument area are not contiguous. Any former OS map showing the road, is more than sufficient to establish the extent of the now "restored" part. Permissions for it's use is a different issue altogether. The metalled part of the old A344 is still a public highway but closed to motor vehicles.

    I'm just trying to understand if this topic post is alluding to something underhand going on as a very interested but non-local party, with regard to a globally important monument, or if it's just a technicality of no material consequence. For example, if I wanted to walk down to as close to the stone monument as possible to observe and record stellar phenomena one clear dark night, simply as a prehistoric experience, would I be prevented from doing so. Scientific astronomical study can be done in many different ways, without needing to be physically within the monument or indeed, anywhere near it!

    1. Pretty much just a technicality - the site managers have the same right as any landowner to ask and then make you leave. And Ancient monuments have their own protection, It is a fairly pointless regulation and is unenforceable.

  5. Good luck with contacting Mr Pitman Head of Building Monuments and sites at DNH probably in 1990s. Could try in back of a plan chest draw at the NMR plans room Swindon.


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