Plans submitted to move Harborough war memorial

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Moving Market Harborough’s listed war memorial can help future generations appreciate and enjoy it, claims a local project group.

Market Harborough Cottage Hospital Portico War Memorial Project Group has now submitted a planning application to Harborough District Council asking to move the First World War Memorial.

And the group says: “Re-location would ensure that the asset continues to be appreciated ... it would preserve the portico in a location that continues to be accessible to all.”

The Grade II listed memorial, which, unusually, contains the names of everyone from the town area who fought in the war, is currently sited within a portico at the front of the now empty Cottage Hospital on Coventry Road.

Developers are currently being asked to bid for the hospital site. It is likely to become private housing.

The council is looking at a plan to preserve the memorial on its current site, with the oldest part of the hospital building also remaining.

But the War Memorial Project Group argues that the monument, created as part of the town hospital, will lose its context if the public building becomes a private one or - worst still - will be knocked down.

“Retaining the portico in situ, as a free standing structure, in the midst of a redevelopment scheme is not considered to be an appropriate context for the asset” the project group argues in its planning application.

“There is limited justification for keeping the asset on site, given that the closure of the hospital means it has lost its function as the entrance to the Memorial Wing.”

The group wants to carefully dismantle the monument and move it to the Memorial Gardens in the town centre.

A new roof and floor would enable the re-sited memorial to become a free-standing structure within the gardens.