Burges Salmon and Wragge & Co have both scooped major roles on next year’s high-profile public inquiry into controversial plans to divert 2km of trunk road underneath Stonehenge.

A 12-week consultation period on the draft plans ended last week, bringing closer a public inquiry that is expected to last a minimum of two months.

Burges Salmon planning head Patrick Robinson and Keith Lindblom QC of Robin Purchas QC’s 2 Harcourt Buildings are advising the National Trust, which owns 750 hectares of land surrounding the stones. The appointment marks an extension of what has been a commercial property relationship for Burges Salmon. The firm is a member of the National Trust panel, but had to make a formal pitch for the Stonehenge work because of its exceptional nature.

The other key party affected by the £200m Government project is English Heritage, which owns the stones themselves and a smaller amount of land. Wragges’ Dan Hemming and Robert McCracken QC, also of 2 Harcourt are advising English Heritage. Burges Salmon stood to get this work, having knocked Bond Pearce off its spot as South West adviser to English Heritage in last year’s panel review, but Burges Salmon had already been instructed by the National Trust.

National Trust, English Heritage and the Highways Agency are working together on the scheme to rescue the World Heritage site from being known as ‘a national disgrace’, a lable that it was given 10 years ago by MP’s, but both the National Trust and English Heritage have their own specific concerns about the details of the scheme.

Norton Rose‘s Jane Burgess is advising English Heritage on a new £57m visitor centre for Stonehenge.