Stonehenge centre 'will be ready for Olympics'

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Ambitious plans for a world-class visitor centre for Stonehenge may have dwindled to a world-class prefab, but yesterday both English Heritage and the government pledged it would be built in time for the 2012 Olympics.

After over 20 years of bitter public debate, and an estimated £9m spent on consultants, designs and planning inquiries, the proposed £57m visitor centre collapsed last year when the government abandoned, on cost grounds, the plan to tunnel the A303 where it passes one of the world's most famous prehistoric monuments.

Ordered by culture minister Margaret Hodge to sort the site in time for the expected Olympics tourism bonanza, English Heritage yesterday launched yet another public consultation, this time on a new quick fix solution: a"temporary" building lasting up to 20 years, costing up to £20m, and providing a café, a shop and twice as much parking.

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