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‘I didn’t know your Rec was memorial to Fallen’
A DEVELOPER proposing to build a 30,000 sq ft superstore has said his plans could change because he wasn't aware a war memorial was on the site.
Philip King, of PLK Properties, said he was not aware the Recreation Ground was a war memorial despite this being mentioned many times, including in the Reporter, and him taking a presentation to the town council.
He said: “At the presentation, I was not aware that the Recreation Ground was a war memorial site.
“A lot of things have come out since then, and I am listening and talking as much as I can, and the final option will try to respond to as many of the views expressed as possible. I want to take people’s sensibilities into consideration, to come up with the best for Ledbury in every respect”.
The proposed store on the Lawnside Road area would lead to the demolition of the swimming pool, community centre, youth centre, the fire station and former ambulance station.
Under Mr King’s initial presentation, the Recreation Ground, which is dedicated to the fallen of the First World War, was shown as space for a new swimming pool and community hall complex, and also a fenced-in sports area. More than one third of its green open space would have been used up.
Mr King stressed he presented early ideas to the town council, not formal and finalised plans.
He was responding to comments from town councillor Bob Barnes, chairman of the Neighbourhood Planning Group, who said both the Recreation Ground and the community hall are priceless, because they are war memorials.
He said: “Can you put a price on someone’s memory?
I don’t think so. The community hall was paid for by public subscription in memory of the fallen.”
Coun Barnes is planning an open meeting to discuss the possible development of the Lawnside area, and Mr King will be invited to attend.
But Coun Barnes said: “We have no intention of telling people what they think should go there.
“We will put forward some suggestions and ask them to react. It’s for the public to say what they want.”
Mr King said he was also planning to launch his own consultation process.
Lloyd Meredith, vice-chairman of the Ledbury branch of the Royal British Legion said Mr King “should have done his homework” before making the presentation to the town council.
He said: “You cannot build on a war memorial. There would be a ruckus if you took the war memorial down in the town centre, as this would be the same, so far as I’m concerned.”
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