Havant street protest over war memorial

Picture: SWNS

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CAMPAIGNERS are to protest against a proposal to move a 90-year-old war memorial.

A speculative plan has been put forward by developers to transform the crossroads in Havant town centre in a bid to regenerate the area.

But one of the ideas has proved controversial – to turn the crossroads into a square and move the war memorial from its location outside St Faith’s Church, on the corner of West Street, further down the road.

It has been fiercely criticised and the council has called for calm stating the proposals were only put out to start a debate about how the area should be regenerate. It said any decisions could be years down the line.

But members of the Havant 50 Plus Forum say they will fight to stop the removal of the memorial, which was designed by celebrated architect A E Stallard.

Pete Walden, the chairman of the group, said: ‘We don’t want it moved. We want it where it is. People died for us, it should stay there. Havant used to be a thriving market town years ago and it is a part of its history.

‘We don’t want it moved down the road. We don’t want it touched.’

But not everyone agrees. Pensioner Chris Davies has lived in East Street all his life.

He said: ‘I’ve got an open mind. The problem with the present site is that being on a corner of the busy crossroads it’s difficult on Armistice Day to completely block the through traffic.

‘The police generally send one or two officers to hold up the traffic. At the time it was created the main road came straight through East and West Street and North Street was the main road to Havant. I’m not opposed to it, I’ve got an open mind about it.’

Historian John Pile has submitted an application to the council to have the memorial listed to protect it from being moved.

The protest will take place on Tuesday, October 16 between 10am and midday.