Public says ‘no’ to relocating town’s war memorial

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A CONTROVERSIAL idea to relocate a war memorial will not go ahead.

Havant Borough Council held a consultation at the end of the summer into plans drawn up by a developer for the regeneration of East Street.

The number of empty shops in the historic road is going up and Barretts suggested turning the crossroads into a square, knocking down The White Hart pub to build houses and, most controversially, relocating the 90-year-old war memorial.

Almost 300 people took part in the consultation and of those, 72 per cent agreed East Street was in need of regeneration.

But the council said there was a ‘great deal of public opposition’ to the idea of relocating the memorial.

Earlier this month residents staged a protest at the memorial, on the corner of St Faith’s Church.

Pete Walden, chairman of the Over 50s Forum, is leading the campaign against the relocation.

He will hand in a petition to Havant MP David Willetts next month with close to 1,000 signatures.

He said: ‘If they keep to their word then I think they’re doing the right thing.

‘But we are against development in that area, we believe it should be left as it is.’

Only 38 per cent agreed new homes should be built in East Street, with 82 per cent saying shops and commercial facilities should be kept there.

But the council has included the large site behind The Bear Hotel in its shortlist for likely locations for new homes in Havant.

A consultation on that begins on November 9.

Eighty-five per cent of residents said the 120-year-old White Hart Pub should be kept while 69 per cent disagreed with the idea of having a square.

In a statement on the consultation the council said it has no intention of moving the memorial.

Julia Potter, head of planning and built environment, said: ‘Our position has not changed.

‘Havant Borough Council currently has no plans to move the war memorial at Havant town centre.

‘Further consultations with the public will take place on how to regenerate the East Street area of the town centre.’