London - Druids and archaeologists are joining forces to fight plans to build thousands of homes overlooking Stonehenge.

The British Ministry of Defence is said to be considering a development of houses for 4 000 soldiers and their families on a 100-year-old airfield close to the world-famous site.

But experts say the buildings are planned for the exact spot on the horizon where the sun rises over the stones on the summer solstice, and would block out the spectacle watched by around 20 000 people a year.

Archaeoastronomer Simon Banton predicted a “global storm of protest” if the MoD goes ahead. The Stonehenge guide said that when the airfield at Larkhill, Wiltshire, was built in 1910, military chiefs intentionally left a gap for the sunrise.

“I understand there is a need to build these houses but there is no need to build them in the way of the light,” he said. “It would be tragic to destroy something so important.”

An MoD spokesperson said it was organising a consultation to discuss the issues. - Daily Mail