PLANS for a memorial to a secret Second World War Two command unit have come under fire.
Objections have been raised over the 20ft granite stone monument, at Sea Front, Hayling Island, in memory of the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties, whose mission was to covertly survey beaches that were targets for invasions.
Although the memorial has been given approval by Prince Charles, whose uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten established the unit, some people living close by are unhappy.
Arthur Parker, of Sea Front, said: ‘This grotesque monument would be a monstrosity on an area of common land – a natural space which should be open for everyone to enjoy.
‘Of course the COPPs were brave, but why single them out for such a disproportionately huge monument? There were so many other acts of heroism in World War Two and Hayling already has a perfectly appropriate war memorial.’
Sylvia Collins added: ‘The idea of a war memorial for Beachlands is not the right thing, as the men involved were trained at the Sailing Club – and that is the right place for it to be. The site proposed is between car parks and it is used a lot by groups who come and play games of the safe, flat ground.
‘Kite flyers use the field too. With a memorial 20ft high, including the mound, it would make the area unsuitable for them.
‘Why not add a plaque to the existing Hayling war memorial and use the money to help the war veterans of today?’
But historian Robin Walton, who is behind the plans, said: ‘It is over 60m away from the nearest houses. The sailing club is unsuitable because nobody would actually be able to see it.
‘And these men saved thousands of allied lives. We want to recognise the Hayling link.’
The proposal is expected to be considered at the Havant Borough Council planning meeting at 5pm on April 14 at Havant College.
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