Bid to remove war memorial from former Wisbech Post Office and relocate it to sorting office rejected by planners

The war memorial.

The war memorial. - Credit: Archant

An application to relocate a war memorial from the former Wisbech post office to the town’s sorting office has been rejected.

The plaque, which remembers 13 fallen soldiers from the First and Second World War, hangs inside the 19th century grade II listed building at 1 Bridge Street, which up until last March was the town’s post office. The town’s post office relocated to Etcetera, a shop 20 metres away.

Planners say there is “insufficient justification” to relocate the memorial to the Royal Mail Sorting Office at Cromwell Court on Enterprise Way.

The decision notice said: “The application is considered premature in that whilst the Post Office has closed and is no longer available for public access the future use of the building and its subsequent accessibility is unknown.

“As the war memorial is not under threat at this time there would appear to be no immediate need to relocate it to an alternative venue.

“The proposal fails to demonstrate that the memorial can be dismantled or re-erected in the new location. This supporting information is considered essential to protect the memorial and without this it has not been demonstrated that substantial harm to the memorial will not result.”

The refusal was welcomed by Councillor Virginia Bucknor, who vehemently opposed the application.

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She said: “A war memorial - whether a building, monument, statue or any other form - is to honour and in recognition of the men and women who gave their lives for their community and therefore treated with honour and respect.

“A war memorial is not comparable to a painting hung on a wall to be taken down when one decides to redecorate. Neither can it be taken down and moved easily as it forms an integral part of this listed building.”