Chris Devine’s letter “Time for a Change” in your last week’s edition raised many interesting points, which I sympathise with.

As a lifelong resident of Winterbourne Stoke and a regular user of the A303, I look forward to the construction of the long-awaited by-pass around our village as part of the Stonehenge tunnel project. 

However, I don't understand why our MP, John Glen, supports the decision to dump 1.25 million cubic metres of spoil, taken from the tunnel, on our doorstep.  This will cause untold disruption during the construction phase and leave a permanent blight on the landscape. The result will be a roadway that rises to a height of 10 metres, creating a looming presence over the village whilst bringing associated noise and air pollution.

A simple alternative would be to disperse the tunnel spoil on the vast acres of Salisbury Plain. The land is owned by the Government, so there’s no reason why it couldn’t be easily arranged.  This would reduce the impact on local communities and save the country vast sums of money, as there would be no need to compensate landowners for the use of their land as a dumping ground for the waste.

I'd like to think that Mr Glen would put this suggestion forward, particularly if he has the best interests of his constituents at heart. However, I'm not holding my breath, as he has previously stated the following:

 “Parsonage Down will benefit from the proposed scheme which will create new grassland habitats that extend the National Nature Reserve. We will be in a better position after the scheme is finished than we are now as chalk will be used from the tunnel excavations to create more chalk grassland areas and improve biodiversity.”

To me this shows a complete lack of knowledge of the area and an insult to the Robert Wales Memorial Reserve, which includes Parsonage Down and 276 acres of farmland. This was established to safeguard one of the most outstanding chalk downland sites in Britain.

Does Mr. Glen really believe that introducing approx. 1.25 million cubic metres of dried-out wet chalk, which has been transported across the river Till, will enhance this area? The more likely explanation is that this is a government-backed scheme that he has to support if he doesn’t want to jeopardise his future cabinet role.  So much for looking after his constituents!

Ian West,

Winterbourne Stoke

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