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New war memorial for Pembrokeshire village approved

The site of the proposed new war memorial (Pic: Hayston Development & Planning Ltd)

PLANS for a new war memorial in a Pembrokeshire village have been given the go-ahead by national park planners.

St Ishmaels Community Council/War Memorial Group sought, through agent Andrew Vaughan-Harries of Hayston Development & Planning Ltd, permission for the new, modern, war memorial and associated ecological enhancements, on land adjacent to St Ishmaels Sports Ground.

Also included in the application is a replacement ‘welcome’ sign for the St Ishmaels Sports and Social Club, two benches and tree / shrub planting.

The proposed new war memorial (Pic: Hayston Development & Planning Ltd)

In 2019, the St Ishmaels Community Council decided to sell the Memorial Hall due to its state of disrepair, which made it unfit for use. As a result, community activities have been relocated to the sports club. A new War Memorial proposal is being considered to replace the old one.

Hayston Development & Planning Ltd, in a supporting statement, said: “The ‘new’ War Memorial is required as St Ishmaels Community Council resolved to sell the Memorial Hall in 2019 as the building had fallen into a level of disrepair that prevented it from being used, and community activities are now held in the sports club.

“Numerous quotes for the re-siting of the original stone, and extensive correspondence with the War Memorial Trust has proven a route which is deemed currently unviable.

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“The council and community remain committed to a replacement Memorial that honoured the original intention and emotional context of the hall. This application is the result of their endeavours. The new war memorial will also include those who had fallen during WW2 and, sadly, space for any future names.”

A description of the proposed war memorial and village marker as prepared by the artist / designer Howard Bowcott and commissioned by the St Ishmaels War Memorial Group, submitted in the statement said: “Whilst the aesthetics of the design are important, particularly for a war memorial, it is important that old red sandstone has been chosen for the principal component of the village marker as it is also a common rock form occurring across the Marloes peninsula and therefore promotes ‘local identity’.

“Welsh slate will also be incorporated on which the names of the fallen will be etched.  Timber has been chosen for the ancillary structures of the bollards, the replacement sign for the St Ishmaels Sports and Social Club and for the two benches.  A similar proposal was approved and built in Narberth and has proven very popular.”

An artist’s impression of the proposed new war memorial (Pic: Hayston Development & Planning Ltd)

The statement concluded: “Due to changing circumstances which involved the required closure of the Memorial Hall and the desire to maintain a tangible connection with the fallen of St Ishmaels the community and the council, in consultation with the War Memorial Trust resolved to find another location for a ‘new’ War Memorial and Village Marker.

“The new memorial, constructed using Old Red Sandstone with insets of Welsh slate, will have a striking vertical presence (it will be 3.8 metres tall / 12ft 6” high) and could be compared to ancient standing stones which are a common sight in Pembrokeshire. The proposed two benches will be constructed of timber as will be the bollards separating the Memorial site from the public highway.

“Because of its location on the eastern edge of the village, there will be no loss of privacy or amenity for any dwellings nor on the club building which lies to the south-east of the sports ground.”

The application was conditionally approved by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park planners.

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