May 2022: An update from the Parish Council can be viewed here
A consultation on the potential relocation of the War Memorial took place in June to July 2021. 5500 consultation documents were distributed to households across the Parish and there was a high response rate of 10.8%.
We would like to thank everyone who responded for their interest in this important project, and for the many comments received.
Of those responding 89% supported the proposed relocation of the Memorial to the site adjacent to the Memorial Park, and 11% objected to the relocation. Of those objecting, almost 40% supported the relocation of the Memorial, but not to the chosen site.
The consultation report can be found here
On 16 September 2021 the Council formally agreed to proceed with the project. A planning application was submitted to Wokingham Borough Council and comments were invited from the public. On February the Borough Council approved the relocation of the Memorial, and granted Listed Building consent.
The Parish Council is now progressing to the next stages with the project, with an estimated completion date of early summer 2022. The cost of the project is being met by Community Infrastructure Levy funds, or developer contributions.
Visualisations of how the Memorial will look in the new location are shown below, along with a plan showing the proposed garden around the Memorial.
The future of the ‘War Memorial junction’
The relocation of the Memorial will open up opportunities for improvements to the unpopular junction and we are currently in discussion with the Borough Council, the Highway Authority, to move this forward. We did ask the Borough Council to look at the junction a couple of years ago to see if any meaningful improvement could be made with the Memorial in situ, and a few options were drawn up. However, the view of the professionals, which we as a Parish Council shared, was that none of the options made a significant difference to the junction. Some in fact put the Memorial itself at greater potential risk, and none could overcome the issue of safety for people wanting to visit the Memorial either for individual visits or for Remembrance.
The professional highway engineers will survey the junction, consider all options and will come up with appropriate design proposals. Any plans will of course be shared with Parish residents, but there is unlikely to be any consultation on this as, with all due respect to our residents, neither they nor we at the Parish Council are experts in highway design matters. The timescale and funding for this work and any actual improvements to the junction is yet to be confirmed, but we will continue to do all that we can to move this forward.