THE Stonehenge Tunnel consultation comes to Salisbury on Saturday. I would urge anyone with concerns about the project to go to this open day to make them known. I find it morally wrong to spend almost £2bn on a project that could be delivered for £1/2bn by using a locally promoted alternative that would meet all the requirements laid down by Unesco of not building in a world heritage site and removing unnecessary clutter and in addition to resolving the A303 problems, also solves several other local issues.

In relation to the current plans many questions remain unanswered, such as: What will be the effects on the stability of Salisbury Cathedral due to the draining of Europe’s largest chalk aquifer and flood plain levels?

What will be the effects of draining the aquifer for an estimated 10 years; on local wild life on the plain and the surrounding the Avon, Till and Wylye river valleys?

What plans are there to substantially reduce abstraction by Wessex Water from the above river systems during the tunnel construction; bearing in mind the ongoing draining of the chalk aquifer? What effects will the drilling process have in contaminating the chalk aquifer and our water supplies for many years to come? A liquid chemical will be sprayed onto the cutting surface and the slurry transported to holding ponds across the plain where the slurry will take years to harden off, and be an eyesore for many years to come. What will be done with the final chalk deposits?

What contamination/leakage will be taking place from these slurry pits and how much of a biohazard will they be to local people and wildlife, both as open pits and from liquid draining into the chalk aquifer?

Who will be responsible for the possible widespread damage to properties throughout the area due to the draining of the aquifer and drying out of the land and or unexpected flooding due to the changed drainage and therefore increased flows at times of natural high water?

Frankly there are so many unanswered questions about this project and it really seems madness to put a bore through the chalk aquifer with all the issues above, let alone what will be the effect on the tunnel when the plain is allowed to rehydrate? Some believe the tunnel will sink or otherwise collapse, flood or be unusable/unstable.

Finally it would be useful to hear if the Fire Brigade has changed its mind on the ability of the current plans to survive a fire?

In the event of closure what plans are there for alternative routes?

I haven’t covered the many other archaeological issues already raised elsewhere that remain unanswered. The project manager in a Radio 4 interview would have us believe there are no serious local concerns to this project and its impact on the area. I beg to disagree with him.

Anthony Brown-Hovelt, Wilton