Local opinion is divided over a plan to relocate a Berkshire village’s war memorial to those who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars.

Finchampstead Parish Council applied to relocate the village war memorial from its current location at junction of Jubilee Road and Rectory Hill last November.

The project involves moving the cross, a Grade II  listed structure which dates back to 1920, to Finchampstead Memorial Park.

The Parish Council has argued putting the war memorial at the park would allow safe and easy access for visitors who want quiet contemplation, and would allow for better attendance at Remembrance services and other events.

However, some villagers have objected to its relocation to the park.

Tim Denton said: “For someone who has lived and grown up in Finchampstead all of my life some 60 years and always within a mile of the cross I totally disagree with this.

“The cross was put there in a prominent and visible position for all too see even from Eversley and parts of Yateley.

“This remained so until facing field hedges and tree boundary have been allowed to grow obstructing the once glorious views across the Blackwater Valley and beyond.

“Everyone can have their own opinion, but I am sure there are other alternatives here without moving it.”

Commenting on Wokingham Borough Council’s planning portal, Giles and Kate Pattison wrote: “We strongly object to the relocation position of this memorial.

“As the memorial is a Christian religious monument we don’t feel that it is

appropriate to place it on a still busy road its not an area of suitable for

quiet reflection.

“We feel more options should be prepared including religious church land that

would be much more appropriate.

“The council haven’t taken the time to consult the individuals who actually live on this road and will be most effected

“The memorial is directly in front of our home that we have moved into in September of 2020 a big factor of our move was a clear view of the park not blocked by man made structures, this structure blocks our view of the park.

“We implore the council to slow dow n and consider the long term positioning of the memorial and the impact on the residents the memorial should not be placed on a busy road directly opposite housing but in a secluded area that is suited to reflection.”

Another objector, Ian Adnams, argued that the proposed location for the memorial would be inappropriate as it could potentially block the line of sight for drivers during school pick up times and sports matches when cars are parked up along The Village road.

Supporting the plan, Steve Butler Farrier said: “The memorial is impossible to visit safely when the roads are open.

“Moving it, respectfully and sensibly to a more visitor friendly site would be beneficial and allow better attendance possibilities.”

The project is due to be discussed at Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, February 9).

It has two planning reference numbers on the council’s planning portal here: https://planning.wokingham.gov.uk/FastWebPL/welcome.asp

Reference 213903 relates to the dismantling of the cross for the relocation, with reference 213927 relating to its reinstallation at the Memorial Park.