PLANS for a new visitors’ centre for Stonehenge have been unveiled.
English Heritage has now submitted a planning application for the centre, which will be located one-and-a-half miles from the monument.
It has been designed to blend in with its surroundings, and the centre will not be visible from the stones themselves.
The exhibitions, café, shop and toilets will be housed in a pair of single-storey areas – one glass, the other timber-enclosed - sitting beneath a gently undulating roof. The centre will be linked to the Stones by a low-key transit system.
English Heritage’s Stonehenge project director Loraine Knowles said: “The new centre is designed to blend into the World Heritage landscape which visitors will pass through on their way to the Stones.
“It will provide enhanced opportunities for education and interpretation, and have first class facilities in keeping with Stonehenge’s status as a world-renowned tourist attraction.”
Stephen Quinlan, director of architects’ Denton Corker Marshall, said: “Designing a visitor centre at a site of such importance is both a major challenge and a serious responsibility. Our proposal, above all, seeks not to compromise the solidity and timelessness of the Stones, but to satisfy the brief with a design which is universally accessible, environmentally sensitive, and at the same time appears almost transitory in nature.
“If once back at home, a visitor can remember their visit to the stones but can’t remember the visitor centre they passed through on the way, we will be happy.”
Wiltshire Council will now undertake further public consultation as part of the formal planning process. Further details of the application are available from Wiltshire Council. Alongside the planning application, English Heritage is supporting Wiltshire Council with their proposals for a Traffic Regulation Order restricting motorised traffic on the A344.