London Assembly report warns hundreds of war memorials are at risk of being lost or damaged as planning laws fail to cover their preservation
A report from the London Assembly says the prservation and protection of memorials should be of paramount importance. The report also warns that without a register of every memorial it is likely that their preservation will be overlooked in any planning process.
Tony Arbour, an assembly member, said: ‘The thousands of war memorials in the capital, of all shapes and sizes, are a real and tangible reminder of Londoners who gave their todays for our tomorrows.’
‘To preserve London’s remaining memorials, planning processes must be changed to reflect the unique protection these aspects of our built environment require, and applied carefully by the mayor and the boroughs.’
Currently there are over 100,000 memorials in the country, with 5,500 listed in London. The biggest threats are neglect, permitted development, vandalism and theft, collapse and natural erosion.
The report said: ‘Appearance on a register would protect war memorials from development, and if this were accompanied by specific local planning policies requiring memorials to be retained in situ if possible or guidance for relocation if necessary, a high level of protection would be provided.’
The world’s major war memorials: an Architects’ Journal selection
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Should planning laws protect war memorials in the same way as listed historic buildings?