ENGLISH Heritage will not stop the Rotherwas access road being built, the Hereford Times can reveal.

Advisors from English Heritage have decided they are happy with Herefordshire Council's plans to continue building the road over the archaeological discovery, termed the Rotherwas Ribbon, which dates back to the same period as Stonehenge.

Scientific advisors from the organisation have recommended that the engineering solution proposed by the council will provide long-term protection for the archaeological find.

Work to preserve the Ribbon under layers of protective membranes and sand has already begun and further work can now be carried out.

English Heritage is also considering financial support for further archaeological excavations outside of the road corridor to enable the Ribbon's history to be more fully understood.

Despite the advice from English Heritage, councillors still have to consider a range of options to discuss how the Bronze Age monument can be best safeguarded for future generations.

These include abandoning the road, which the council says would cost £6 million, building a bridge at the cost of £10 million, or creating a £110 million tunnel underneath the Ribbon.

If any of these options are approved council officers are warning that the county faces serious financial challenges and other important projects would be halted.

Instead, officers are recommending that the building of the road continues, at a cost of £400,000, and that the existing find is protected, in line with archaeological best practice.

Additionally, the presumed course of the Ribbon, both north and south of the access road, should be investigated to ensure opportunities for tourism, heritage and education are explored.

The council stopped work on the road around the site of the Ribbon earlier this year when the significance of the find was established.

Plans to protect it were initially put on hold after public demands to see it - around 1,000 people were given escorted tours during July.