The dispute ignites over a motorway tunnel near Stonehenge. Now opponents of the project have won a lawsuit.

London (AP) – In the fight for the controversial construction of a motorway tunnel near the Stonehenge Stone Age monument in England, opponents of the project have won in court.

UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps’ decision for the two-mile-long tunnel is illegal, a London court ruled on Friday. The plans had threatened Stonehenge’s status as a World Heritage site.

The judge stressed that Minister Shapps had not considered any alternatives in his decision in order to find a solution in accordance with the World Heritage Convention. In a report, officials warned of permanent irreversible damage to the monument, Shapps nonetheless backed the £ 1.7bn (€ 2bn) renovation project that will cut travel time between London and the southwest and will reduce traffic in the region should equalize. Various organizations which had campaigned against the project called the court ruling “a huge success”.

Unesco’s responsible committee adopted a resolution at this year’s meeting that Stonehenge could be placed on the endangered sites list next year if construction of the tunnel goes as planned. In addition, Unesco had withdrawn its World Heritage status from the port city of Liverpool due to an urban development project.