£3m. plan to move the War Memorial

A piazza with parking for 88 cars underneath could be built on the site of the Sunken Garden at no cost to taxpayers.

Architect Andrew Ozanne, a member of the Monumental Gardens Committee, explains the plans to an invited audience at Government House yesterday. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 1310192)
Architect Andrew Ozanne, a member of the Monumental Gardens Committee, explains the plans to an invited audience at Government House. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 1310192)

A piazza with parking for 88 cars underneath could be built on the site of the Sunken Garden at no cost to taxpayers.

The proposal has come from the Monumental Gardens Committee, which wants to create a more suitable location for the Bailiwick War Memorial at the top of Smith Street.

It believes the project would be an ideal way to commemorate the centenary of the 1914-18 War and the 50th anniversary of the Liberation in 2015. The project would also provide a civic amenity centre for a range of community events.

Committee chairman Bob Place told a meeting of invited guests at Government House yesterday that the purpose of the presentation was to gauge views on a solution that would come at no cost to the States.

Comments for: "£3m. plan to move the War Memorial"

Scarlett

At the risk of looking a gift horse in the mouth, could someone update me on who's on this Committee, and where they get their funds from?

That's a lot of dosh to stump up, and I'd be interested to know.

On another note, will the honourable board member presenting the idea be proposing his client's Spiegal tent go there as well, I wonder....? ;)

Mike Paine

What a contradiction! There is a move to get more people to use buses yet there are also plans to create more parking places. What illogical mind thinks that creating more car parking places will also increase bus use? If more parking spaces are created, so more people will use their cars and not the buses.

Beanjar

I think you're missing the point Mike Paine. Its the Plebs who are supposed to use the crappy buses and the Nobs who will be using these posh (presumably private) parking spaces. No change of policy at all, just accept we have a 2 tier system.

AJF

And the plebs will still have to pay increased bus fares - how that is going to increase bus passengers I have n't the foggiest !

Terry Langlois

We cannot really vote yes or no without seeing the proper proposals, but as long as the public amenity space is improved and not reduced in size, this could be something worthy of proper consideration, rather than deserving a knee-jerk reaction on TIG...

Spartacus

The States needs to wise up to this proposal pronto.

Firstly, the reason why private entrepreneurs want to fund it is because it is a money making opportunity.

They are responding to an evident demand for paid parking facilities in St Peter Port.

If this proceeds it will devalue the prime real estate owned by the States and currently used for free parking. Demand for free parking requirements will thereafter diminish and the States will be left with empty devalued land.

It is time to seriously consider an element of paid parking in conjunction with the transport strategy.

As for the war memorial, leave it where it is. There has been no problem for the past 60 years why change it now? Perhaps the ulterior motive has now been revealed.

West

First I get snowed in for 2 days and now I find myself agreeing with Spartacus. What a week!

AJF

Very true... this idea was flashed out and about a couple of months ago or so coupled with some cock and bull story about how it will facilitate holding memorial services. And now the cat is out of the bag !

Geoff

Why can't these people just leave things alone?

It was placed here as a memorial to those who gave their lives for our country in the great War, my uncle being one of them.

What gives you the right to move it now?

What next the Cenotaph in London?

Terry Langlois

Geoff, you are right that the memorial was placed there as a memorual to those who gave their lives for the Allied fight.

But it is largely ignored now in the 21st century due to being surrounded by roads.

If we can improve it, by moving it back 5o yards and placing it in a well designed public amenity space, where people can (if they wish) sit and reflect on what the memorial means, surely that would be a wonderful way of renewing the Island's statement that it remembers its war dead? Surely that is better than just leaving the memorial in its current less than ideal position?

Without seeing the detailed plans I cannot decide whether I think that this would be an improvement or not, but I don't think that we should simply reject the idea on the grounds that "it has been where it is for 60 years". If it is an improvement, it would be worth doing.

I think that I'd prefer it without the carpark underneath, but that seems a non-starter and I'll keep an open mind for now.

AJF

Maybe it is largely ignored but that has nothing to do with the roads... I was born back in the late 50s and there were roads around it back in the last century.

Terry Langlois

True but my point is that, other than on Remembrance Sunday, everyone passes it by without a second glance. As part of a memorial garden it, and what it stands for,would be much better appreciated on a daily basis.

Fishy

I alvays waited derr forr a lioft.

its nice to read.

the benches tastes nicer than ohters.

Herbert Roth

We need to know more about the project before we can vote on it. For instance, if the money to do this is coming from the private sector how will they recoup their investment?

Guernseyman

private paid parking i suspect

Watcher

I was in favour of the idea until I heard the St. Peter Port Constable, in answer to JKT on BBC Radio Guernsey, announce that the OGH owners have offered to fund the work BUT they will require guaranteed car parking spaces allocated to the OGH Hotel. Oh really? A valuable piece of land belonging to the people of Guernsey will effectively be gifted to a private company for their private use (ok, maybe a token few public parking spaces will be provided) and in return the company will pay to move the War Memorial - when it doesnt really need moving. I am surprised those facts were not made known in the article in the GEP, or perhaps that part of the plan was not destined to be released just yet? As the occupants of the Dragon's Den frequently say - "Sorry, I'm out!"

Royston Gueno

I think the War Memorial has to be moved to allow cars to enter the multi storey, where would the exhaust vents exit ?

Eric

Encourages more people into cars, not great.

How about two storeys of secure motorcycle and bicycle parking, lockers big enough to keep suits in, showers and drying facilities, all for a nominal fee. Could rent out retail space to a dry-cleaning/laundry company, a bike mechanic, a motorcycle mechanic, coffee shop, etc.

Unfortunately there is no one in the current States will even 1/10 of what it would take to carry such a proposal. As long as they're terrified of treading on each others' toes the best we can expect is handing our assets over to the private sector to make money on while services are cut elsewhere.

Jeffers

Eric - I have thought about this for several years, although not on that site. How much better to give cyclists and motor cyclists facilities that make that mode of transport a better option than the traditional car. The stick treatment of car drivers has not worked and so the carrot is worth considering. I think if such a facility was available and not open to abuse by individuals seeking a dry place to hang out or set fire to as they do in the present public conveniences, then it would be very well used indeed.

I think to make it work, it would need to have a minimal charge and a permanent staff member to ensure cleanliness and security.

Terry Langlois

Secure undercover bike park, with showers and a permanent attendant, to be used for a nominal fee? A great idea.

rosie

Jeffers / Eric / Terry / Martino?

I think something along these lines could be fantastic and have posted about it before. Somewhere that is more than just a bike park, but a place you can meet up with someone for breakfast or a cup of coffee, keep your work clothes, showers etc and have your bike serviced while you are at work. This would be a great location for such an idea being both central and at the top of Smith St means psychologically the worst of the St PP hill already done when contemplating cycling out of town.

The Mud Dock Bike Shed in Bristol does something like this.

http://www.mud-dock.co.uk/bikeshed/31_philosophy.html

Martino

I'm with you Rosie but as Ellis says in post 31 below we are stuck with a stultifyingly slow and bureaucratic planning system plus planning legislation that is not in any way fit for purpose in the 21st century.

If we take these proposals as a starting point and negotiate another sweetener or as Jeffers says a carrot in the way of modern cycle facilities to go with the parking and war memorial then we may be onto something.

If we can get a little something more out of the developers why not suspend the Strategic Land Use(less) Plan to allow some common sense decisions to be made?

Someblerk

Hmm...as long as the car park is short term i.e. 2 hour max otherwise the first 88 office wallahs will get the 'best' spaces in the mornings and then the whole thing becomes pointless...

Guernseyman

what make's you think it will be free public parking? They have to recoupl their £3m somehow

Herbert Roth

We cannot vote without knowing more details on the project. This is being funded with private money and they will want to recoup their investment so I would want to know the details of that. There's no such thing as a free lunch.

kat

More land given over to a private developer did we not learn when we gave the markets away?

The moving of the war memorial is going to cost the Guernsey tax payer dearly

Move it by all means but into a lovely garden not a faceless horrible granite space

I am against the garden going. now I know why we have struggled to maintain it .another policy of neglect from the states yet again

before long no land in Guernsey will belong to us .

King Maker

If you ask Ex Servicemen and Women they will almost - to a man/lady - vote to move the memorial from where it is, to a place where remembrance can be held in a more dignified way. At present the location is woefully inadequate. Wounded or infirm veterans on a slope in the shade, when their glory should be (when possible) lit by sunshine as their deeds were such.

Those comments on ‘leave well alone’ or whinges about ‘costs’ are from those who have never served anyone but themselves.

The real issue here is the location of the place of remembrance rather than a car park, forget the car park and concentrate on the memorial and having it a suitable location. End of story.

Margaret Ferry

I have been reading through the comments and was absolutely delighted to read yours.

The War Memorial at the top of Smith Street is a very tricky place to get to if you have any form of disability. Wheelchair users in particular have to cope with steep hills in all directions.

I have no modern-day connection to the armed forces but like many Guernsey people there is an armed forces history in my family. Moving the War Memorial to level ground would be a start and your suggestion for the sun to shine on any Memorial seems very appropriate.

It is obvious that many people visiting the War Memorial are now elderly, although of course contemporary service people also pay their respects. A more accessible and inviting place could surely be found on our beautiful island.

Island Wide Voting

Margaret Ferry

I agree with you 100% about the difficulties of the present sloped and cramped site

If it is going to be moved why not widen the search for a more suitable place in St Peter Port.Somewhere flat for the disabled with easy parking for the elderly

North Beach or La Salerie spring to mind or like other posters have mentioned just turn it around on its present site

No_such_thing_as_a_free_lunch

The unfortunate thing about this proposal is that the very emotive subject of 'improving' the war memorial appears to be being used as leverage for a far less salubrious cause than is being admitted to here by these 'private investors', and that what they gain financially will far outweigh anything that veterans may gain from this development.

Rather like Mr KK's 'offer' of a 'free' museum for the island, this offer is one gift horse that needs a thorough dental check.

AJF

Elderly people have probably been the majority of visitors in the past, and the memorial has been there for decades.

Whilst it might be a good idea to move it into the garden, it is not a good idea to lose the space for more car-parking spaces.

Improved bus services with lower fares, and not higher fares as is proposed from next May, paid parking and not more private parking spaces is the way to go.

RADAR

King Maker your survey missed a couple that have 47years uniformed service between them who say 'leave well alone', if you are intent on speaking on behalf of service men and women then you need to broaden your survey. The Parade venue has proved far from ideal for a long time as the parade has got bigger however there is a simple solution that would avoid the Veterans from having to stand on the slope. It would not involve moving the Memorial nor would it involve a £3m development.It just needs some thought.

However the developers seem to have a 'strong' backing and there is money to be made and so a simple solution is probably not going to win the day!

PLP

The offer to move of the war memorial looks to me like a classic "sweetener" to push an unpalatable idea through. As others have said though, we need to know the full facts before making our minds up.

One thing is for sure - before we hand over the sunken gardens to make a private sector car park we need to know exactly who stands to benefit financially from this. I simply won't swallow any notion that this is an altruistic venture.

William

5 star idea, couldn't think of a better way to sell off such a beautiful part of guernsey to the private sector other then covering it in concrete and steel. Obviously the company who is funding this will get the land for free because that's In the best interest of the tax payer. Can't wait for the grand opening of a car park the tax payer won't be aloud to use. hopefully it brings more tourists to the island. £3 million and they don't think the tax payer will have to pay anything is this just a stealth way to get us to start paying for parking as it obviously needs to pay for its self.

No Parking

I have no objection to the drunken, oops, sunken garden being improved. Nor do I object to the War Memorial being better sited to provide more space for remembrance services and better visibility.

What I do object to is the gifting of public land for the creation of lucrative private parking. The last thing town needs is to encourage any more unnecessary car use.

There are far more than enough parking spaces in Town, they just aren't being used properly. The States needs to grasp the nettle, convert half of the current long-term spaces to 1 and 2 hour stay and charge for parking in the remainder of the long term spots, using the revenue to subsidise a good, frequent, bus service.

As for the DRU....sorry, sunken garden, wouldn't it make more sense to build the public square (not piazza, we're not Italian) over a data centre? The waste heat created could be used to warm the soil above and permit the planting of tender and early blooms to delighjt locals and visitors alike.

johnT

I can see how it all works, OGH pay for it to get half the spaces, advocates, St Peter Port

Constables, law officers, Greffe employees get the rest rented and paid for by the States.

You cant tell me Joe public will benefit whatsoever.

It aint broke so leave it alone.

Oh and I see there is going to be public amenity centre, ( dangling carrot ) what the hell is that.

Why not leave as open garden, thats an amenity.

kat

I do hope these plans will be open to a public meeting as we the tax payers of Guernsey and the trustees of the parish will at least have a vote .

A rich mans dream. these plans have been around sine 2005. the money was stopped to keep the garden nice for many years.the only replanting was done by St Peter Port Floral committee when there was nearly 30 thousand daffodils planted and new shrubs we also planted .this garden has been used over the years for many wedding pictures where the pictures can be taken .knowing the children are safe playing with in a garden.

When the new Governor arrived there was also a welcome there from all the islands top servants.

Do we spend money to get this garden to how it should be or give it away to a developer .

Vladivir

I’m not impressed by this proposal, and I’m glad that neither is T&R.

To summarise: If you GIVE us this green lung and piece of prime town land, we will [1] Create a PRIVATE car park [2] Move the monument [3] Create a token green space on top of it all.

Being an ordinary islander I wasn’t invited to this exclusive presentation, so I haven’t yet seen the plans. Consequently I don’t know where all of the motorcycle parking will be.

Here’s a much more cost-effective idea: Turn the monument 180 degrees (does it have to face East?) and clear the motorcycle parking on days when there are services in that area.

Terry Langlois

"I'm not impressed.."

"To summarise:..."

"I haven't yet seen the plans"

Must be wonderful to be able to form a view on, and summarise, something that you've not yet seen or read.

Typical of so many TIG posts.

Calco

Accepting low standards again? You could make a good politition tezza.

Terry Langlois

did you actually read or comprehend what is written immediately above your post?

Calco

Very clearly.

People are saying that they dont want to lose a nice garden to make car parks for private people. They dont like the idea of giving tax payers land to builders to put more cars in.

Your comment "typical of TIG post" shows you are quite happy to let something else slip away.

At the end of the day you can make fun of Vladiver because he or she likes green spaces and sees the value of the motorbike park, but they have as much right to that view as you do to turn it into an exclusive car park.

Show some spunk man! be proud of your island.

Terry Langlois

Calico, you are completely off target. See my reply to post 5 and you will see that I also like green open spaces and do not want an exclusive car park, or any car park for that matter.

My "typical TIG post" comment was a reaction to someone reaching a conclusion without actually having seen the essential information. Nothing more. I have no issue with anyone's opinion as long as it is not based on fallacies or assumptions.

Try again.

Vladivir

I have read all of the reports in today's edition of the Press and watched both BBC and ITV TV reports yesterday. Am I not allowed to form an opinion based on this information?

Calco

Of course you can voice your opinion Vladvir thats what this site is for. Poor old Tell is just like a politition he writes a lot but says little. If you look at his write up at the top of the page, he says he doesnt like car parks but then he says the statue cant be moved without a car park so he doesnt really have an opinion. He just lectures other people who want things done properly

Terry Langlois

Calico, you obviously have comprehension issues.

I would prefer there to be no car park but if the improvements to the memorial are worth it, and if they would not happen without public funding (never going to happen) or a benefit being offered to private funders, then it is worth considering IMO.

I need to see the full plans before I know whether I think the proposal is good or not.

An opinion based on insufficient information is worthless.

Terry Langlois

Vladivir, yes you are entitled to form an opinion but from your post you appeared to have done so without the crucial information. For instance, how can you form a judgement that the new open space is a "token green space" unless you have seen the plans? It appeared to me that you were basing your opinion on some big assumptions.

It is quite possible that I will agree with you after we know more!

Pouque

King Maker

My Great Grandfather was killed at the battle of Cambrai in 1917 fighting in the Guernsy Light Infantry. He has know known grave and the memorial at the top of La Rue Des Forges is his only memorial in his home Island. His Grandchildren are still alive and well and live here in Guernsey.

I would have thought it common decency for the group of people proposing this move to have consulted with the familes of the men named on the memorial.

King Maker

Pouque - you must be very proud, many of us had relatives who gave their lives and who returned from conflict.

I do think a more suitable location with a better aspect would have and would be appreciated by those the memorial commemorates.

Those who ‘forget’ would also be reminded of the sacrifice of those brave of heart on a daily basis, so why should our main Island Memorial be ‘hidden in the shade‘. Being consulted, not sure that has any relevance. Being honoured and paying homage to the fallen is all that matters.

No_such_thing_as_a_free_lunch

I've Googled all over the shot, and cannot find any details of who is on this mysterious seemingly new Committee.

Anyone found out who's the money behind this, yet?

God knows, private investment in these difficult times is not to be sniffed at, it's just that this reminds me somewhat of the private inward investment our little sister isle experienced from two apparently benevolent benefactors, which was taken willingly and in good faith that they are now stuck with..

also rather reminiscent of all the party favours that a certain local property development company offered the island.... in return for turning Belle Greve into a privately owned Little Venice, of course....

part of me says, 'don't be so cynical!' and the other part says, 'just how dumb do these people think we are...?'

EXguern

How on earth is the small road down past the OGH going to cope with the pile of cars trying to get in and out of the new car park and then out again at rush hour or when the colleges get out in the late afternoon? It's a one way street around and out. The two junctions at the top wouldn't cope and there would be a traffic jam a mile long. It would gridlock an already congested rush hour out of town. Unless you keep this parking for one to 2 hours to avoid long stay where everyone leaves at the same time or make it paid parking that goes back into the public purse for the benefit of the buses etc then there is no point.No to private gain. As for the war memorial moving it car park or no car park might be a good idea anyway.

Spartacus

In the press it says "if (OGH) had the use of 30 to 40 of the parking spaces it could justify it funding the whole (£3M) project"

So we now know the market value of each prime location parking space in town is £100,000 minimum.

DA

So lets think about it...private investors stump up £3 million (at least) to fund the project but the States retain ownership..so whats in for the investors? Can't see this getting off the ground somehow.

Aside from the funding, this project proposes to create 88 parking spaces and 10 motorcycle spaces. There are already enough car parking spaces in this area and there is a lot more than just 10 motorcycle spaces.

The amenity of the sunken garden would also be lost albeit by a raised plaza which in my opinion would not be as nice as the sunken garden

I would suggest that £3 million of anyones money could be better spent elsewhere

townie2

"£3M Plan to build a car park". There, I fixed it for you.

Clever spin here creating an emotive distraction from what is really going on.

That area around the top of Smith Street is dangerous in all directions because no provision is made for pedestrians to cross. Another car park will just make things worse.

Please stop ignoring the real problem of cars dominating our public spaces and making them dangerous places to be.

St Marcouf

The OGH of course is owned by Red Carnation, as is the Duke of Richmond - both hotels would benefit from the proposed car park.

Just move it

I think there's some confusion here. According to the full GP account, the OGH involvement is illustrative only, ie to show that the £3m or so needed can be funded externally.

To Spoutycus, that £75,000 to £100,000 figure per space demonstrates the wasted assets that are the piers with free parking.

Beanjar

My first reaction to this was that I didn't want the gardens to change. Then I thought, how many years is it since I last went down there? About 15. Then I considered the fact that most visitors using the garden for its proper purpose might have problems with access. So now I'm coming around but with a couple of provisos. The States should keep the freehold and therefore long term control of the site. The developer should pay for the work and the ongoing maintenance of the carpark and gardens. Eliminate any downside risk. The spaces should be for paid parking - in that area they ought to produce £2-3 an hour, ten hours per weekday. 88 spaces each producing, say, £125 a week is over half a million pounds per year to be split with the developer. If we end up with a more useful public amenity and 88 covered spaces which could be used free at evenings and weekends maybe the plan would be worth considering. My fear is that the States cannot drive a proper, commercial bargain and will give away the family silver for nothing, as usual. Or in return for a few cosy private spaces for the lucky few in the States, Greffe or Law firms.

Terry Langlois

Beanjar, I think you are right. The key questions for me are:

1. What is the design for the open space and will this be bigger, more attractive and more accessible/usable than the current gardens? If not, I don't think that I can support the plans.

2. Who would use the car park and who benefits financially? I like your ideas for shared public/private benefit.

kat

There was plans years ago to pave over the North Plantation,it was left to go into a dump and it looked terrible.

Then The St Peter port Floral group got together and with others found money to make it look like it is today

These Policy of neglect must stop ,money has not been given for the garden .the work to plant thousands of daffodils was covered byt the St Peter Port group.this is turn came from the rate payer of the parish

The garden is used daily by so many workers to sit away from the traffic and the fumes that go with it

It is used as a safe area for mums and dads to have a little picnic lunch with their children ,many who live in flats with out a garden .

There could be many events held in it as it is sheltered and a quiet place .

There has been award events from companies held in there ,the new Governor had his welcome in there .all away from traffic

Do we need to take it away and replace with a granite courtyard? as this is what we will have .

A.J.

If the Monument must be moved and the reason is, for it to be somewhere 'flat',then the two most obvious sites would be,either The Salerie Car park or the North Beach.If on the other hand this proves to be too expensive, then turning the monument 180 degrees would surely be the simplest and most inexpensive idea as has already been suggested in a previous post by vladimir.

Metric Anvil

This was last reported and commented on 13 months ago. In all that time the group responsible for this proposal have still continued to ignore the main stakeholders; the families and friends that have lost loved ones.

Other than the overwhelming sense of loss that compelled the community to build a monument to those that gave their life would have been a desire to ensure that any such monument stood the test of time. To move this monument would disregard the significance of its setting, design and most importantly the strength of feeling and consideration that put it there in the first place. 

I've no doubt that the motives of those that suggest it's relocation are entirely honourable, but they are misguided. Let's take a look at some of the reasons given for its relocation.

1. It's now surrounded by a busy road - I've never experienced any problem finding a gap in the traffic and the road is shut for the Remembrance day ceremony. 

2. The attendees of the ceremony find it difficult to stand on the slope - The hilltop site would have been favoured by those deciding on its location originally for obvious reasons. It definitely would be cheaper to construct a temporary level platform every year, for those that find the slope difficult.

3. It would form part of a civic ceremonial piazza - Close the road between it and the sunken garden permanently and it would, without moving it!

4. By incorporating it into a civic piazza the purpose of the memorial, remembrance, is reinforced - This statement has no basis in fact whatsoever. Making an effort to keep, maintain and cherish the monument as its founders intended, in spite of some difficulties, does however. 

5.  It becomes the solemn backdrop for other ceremonial and civic events and is placed within the centre of the island’s judicial and administrative heart - It already is within the stated centre. For obvious reasons it is a stand alone monument. It should not have to form a solemn background for anything else other than that for which it was intended. 

This proposal (to move the memorial) is unlikely to get planning permission anyway as I'm sure  the planners would be using guidance similar to that given by English Heritage or the War Memorials Trust. If you check out the WMT web page on moving memorials you will find that none of the reasons given so far could justify its relocation.

I don't have any objection to the creation of a civic piazza atop an underground car park but please leave the Island War Memorial alone.

Ellis

Fear not, naysayers! Bureaucracy is firmly on your side and is already strangling this sensible plan on your behalf.

According to today's Press, the States won't even have a proper look at this till 2015 at the earliest.

That's because it has to negotiate... now, let me get this right....:

1) the completion of the Strategic Land Use Plan

2) the affect of the new Transport Strategy

3) contentious matters going to the full T&R Board

4) the conclusion of the Strategic Asset Management Plan

Quite right, you are thinking! Throw the book at this abomination!

Now think of the things you WOULD like to see improve in Guernsey.

All similarly mired in the sludge of government process.

I am all for strategy and planning, very sensible. But strategies and plans take forever to complete, especially in Guernsey. Do we really want every vaguely-related decision to grind to a halt for years in the meantime???

Or would we rather our deputies just did what they were elected to do and took a view on the proposals NOW so that, if they are passed, they stand an earthly chance of being implemented?

As I understand it, the committee behind this are intending the project to help Guernsey mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War. Not the Second.

Fée du Bois

Just one question: suppose the War Memorial is moved...anywhere. What is going to be put in its place? Doesn't it make a little roundabout of a sort? Wouldn't it be tempting to replace it by another little roundabout? At the expense of the Guernsey taxpayer, of course. I'm rather glad I'm an expat these days.

Peter

How about some one throwing a spanner in there plans by raising the Clamour du Haro at the last hour to stop the rape of prime public land.

Johno

As far as I am concerned if our war veterans feel it should be moved, then move it. Surely that s the least we can do, considering what they gave up.

Also, it is being privately funded, no brainier as far as I can make out.

Smoke_an_Mirrors

if you see and believe post 30, very reasonably and rationally written, imo, then the notion that this is the collective war veterans will is a very questionable one, Johno, but one that certainly appears to be being used to full effect by the private investors who want this prime piece of public owned land, primarily for their own purposes.

Properly detailed plans, including how the parking will be divvied up/charged, presented to all of us (who actually own the land) and not just the chosen few (done in a pretty blatant attempt to get the ball rolling before we all know the full details) and a clear indication that the majority of war veterans agree (not just the one chap in charge of this Committee), would, perhaps, put our collective minds at rest.

Certain parties involved are acutely aware of how the Planning Laws (outdated as they are) can be played...

if one can keep one's client's 'temporary' structure in place for months on end with repeated planning applications, there's probably no end to what one could do with even more money at one's disposal, ay......?

markB

why not just turn the memorial around the other way, so everyone can sit in the garden and up look at it

Paul

Why not utilise the existing site, turn it 180 degrees, lose the motorbike park and landscape/ extend the garden. There is no need for the existing roundabout system and the bikes can easily be located elsewhere. I have no idea of the costs but will be a fraction of the proposed, which could be met by private contributions. Seems simple to me.

Island Wide Voting

I'm trying to remember how many times per year this site is actually given any real attention

I know it's used on 11th of November each year but other than that .....?

kat

Twice a year.once to open the field of remembrance and one to have the remembrance service.

It is visited many times a year by many to look to see if their relatives are named on it or to pay their respects .

The area around it was very neglected a few years ago.

Then the St Peter Port Floral group worked on it and now it is planted up twice a year and looks super at all times .

I have no problem with it being moved into a more suitable place ,but not to take away a place of safety that is used by many every day.

It could be incorporated into the wall at the harbour with the memorial for the workers who lost their lives on the docks .as this is remembered the same day.The area would be flat,and a huge care park is at hand ,easy for visitors to find and cruise ship passengers to see if they visit the island .

There are many other places it could be moved to to give it a much better access .like Cambridge park.or even in the plantation at the back of the Odeon car park.

The fuss they are making is they want prime land for the car ,under the pretence we need the memorial moved,as it would have to be moved to give access to the car park .

Vladivir

War memorialists: I think that however well-intentioned your plans may be, associating yourselves with a fat cat car park was a mistake. I can see a typical property developers’ scheme playing out here. Step 1: Neglect the area for many years (shame on you, States); Step 2: Present your grand redevelopment scheme to influential people. Quote a crazy figure – it’ll impress those who don’t bother to check whether it has any foundation. Still to follow – Step 3: Make a public presentation at an obscure venue at an inconvenient time; Step 4: Tweak the design based on negative public feedback; Step 5: Carefully picking your moment, get the plans rubber-stamped; Step 6: Build it and watch the money roll in.

Here are two examples of monuments which are truly beneficial to the public: [1] Victoria Tower (built 1848) [2] The Liberation Monument (1995) – the one in town, not that lump on L’Ancresse Common. What’s common to both is that their primary purpose is celebration and memory, not profit.

If you want to move the memorial then I suggest that you get off the car park bandwagon as soon as possible and go it alone. Get the backing of the public by involving them from the beginning, rather than planning behind closed doors. Widen the scope of a suitable site, and always keep in mind year-round use by all. Another potential site suggestion: Stranger’s Cemetery?

mr bus station

well said Kat....Now thinking of things Guernsey needs ..oh nearly forgot .somewhere

local people can stay warm and dry ..meeting place cup of coffee sit down bit chat .oh look my bus is in to get me close to home after a hard shift in the office shop. .store

the call these bus stations all over the modern world so iv,e heard ay what is that? I hear all these car drivers and Government PEOPLE SAY WHO have and never used a bus in there lives because its far to common to use a bus . but hang on there all Experts on this form of transport....no money my lad for bus thingys there is much more important things to spend your money on...laddie. .... lets spend some money on the few ..never in the history of man has so much money been spent on the few .... some thing like that ..I respect these men who died for our freedom

if you could ask them I,m sure there would

cry at the thought of been moved because some toffee nosed people want a car park on hand middle of town oh yes then use a excuse to of moving a war monument on top of it that will work we can always say its for the good of the people . just think if they tried it in London on top of a multi story car park .

the trouble is in Guernsey is the rich always have the best Ideas well the working class can kiss my bottom nuff said

sarnia expat

I think this is a classic case of a Guernsey smokescreen.

How many people give a damn throughout the rest of the year, apart from November 11th? Well, I for one do - as I had several family members who gave their lives for our freedom. I pass the war memorial several times a day, and it subconsciously reminds me how lucky we are to live in a democracy.

That said, why are we pandering to the Carnation Group who don't care less about anything other than their bottom line, and their precious guests? Why should we bend over backwards to make yet more car parking available? How about simply giving us, the Guernsey people a decent FREE bus service and making everyone who want to park a car in town pay for it?

Just don't use the excuse of RESPECT for the dead as a reason to bulldoze over the sunken garden (Piazza? !!! there are plenty of those in inner city UK and they are pretty dire). As others have said, just turn it around if you are so keen for it not to stand on a hill.... (the point was so that the memorial looked out over St Peter Port harbour where "our lads" left these shores...).

There are plenty of people who will get rich over this "project" and I bet they wouldn't give two hoots about the War Memorial if it wasn't going to get them a few extra pounds.

Scarlett

spot on, imo, expat, and I fully expect to see a lot more private developers taking advantage of the fact our States is becoming increasingly cash strapped in years to come with ideas like this.

The way that those with 'real' money have taken a foothold - and advantage - of our lovely island (and no, I am not talking about finance exclusively) over the years, whilst average Guernsey man has no such opportunities due to the lack of the aforementioned, truly aggravates and saddens me deeply.

I am equally insulted that this Committee believes we will all fall for this, and disappointed by some of the local names willing to sell their soul to the highest bidder who are supporting this blatant attempt to manipulate local hearts and minds with an highly emotive issue, just so their employers can get what they want, ie. a prime piece of publicly owned land in the centre of town to park on.

As for the bus service, does the island even have control of it any more....?

The pond

Altenative proposal, how about moving that 2 foot oval ditch known as the model yacht pond, there's about a hundred good alternative uses that could be made of that site and you could put a monument there too if one wanted.

Island Wide Voting

Well you could knock me over with a toy boat tiller! ... a fellow pond relocater .. I really thought I was alone

By all means don't just get rid of it as it gives great pleasure to many partakers and watchers but the progression of time and modern day needs has made it an under utilised ( and a rather ugly)prime site

I am sure that there are more suitable sites on public land with ample parking (L'Ancresse,Vazon?) away from a busy harbour where a more natural looking pond could be installed

At the risk of upsetting Ed and his plans for a bio farm perhaps a pond next to the proposed rotten timber museum at Oatlands would be a viable private enterprise attraction

Scarlett

Another place to consider for development.....

that big building a stone's throw from the war memorial, where a random bunch of misfits congregate occasionally (in the case of one of the senior people, when he can be *rsed to turn up...), and create nothing more than a lot of hot air....

surely this waste of space could be put to better use.....?

The pond

I agree relocation of The pond is important, my vote goes for Cambridge park, next to Beau Sejour. It would fit in the park next to the new skatepark, I know as I've paced it. This is a recreational area, there's parking and it's safer for kids. It might even attract a few ducks in time.. There's enough parking on the piers already so agree this is not a priority for alternative use. I guess we need a pond committee now..

Martino

Make that three pond relocaters. I'd like to see it transformed into a little green oasis. It would be far better used that way. But definitely not a car park!

islander

I believe the War memorial if moved be placed in the sunken garden for people to remember the fallen.A place for the older generation to sit down and talk of their forefathers actions during the wars.

The States of Guernsey are encouraging us to uses buses rather than our cars to travel into town so why do we need more parking spaces?.

Ok this may be funded privately but Its public land that is being used for recreation purposes such as picnic areas,lunch breaks for town workers.A waiting area for people before going into court or office appointments.A place for a breather after climbing up Smith Street and the likes.

A.J.

This piece of States land should never be sold. selling a 10 or 20 year lease would however be a different matter, as it gives us options. But once sold, then it's goodbye to any Golden eggs.

Alvin

Still no information on exactly who this Monumental Gardens Commitee is... seems very secretive to me, though the press report above does mention two names on the committee.

Nothing published on the internet on the committee or their proposals for this particular site, and yet this committee were allowed to present their proposals to a "meeting of invited guests at Government House".

Sorry.. but there is one hell of a fishy smell here.

Very sceptical

The hitherto unknown and rather secretive Monumental Gardens Committee wants to help improve the location of Guernsey's most important war memorial, which, if we are lead to believe, has suddenly, over the past few years, suffered problems due to its location, despite being there since 1926.

This mysterious committee were given an opportunity to present their proposals to an invited audience at Government House, and their proposals would solve all the problems that the memorial is suddenly suffering from and stop the States from selling the land for office-space development or other mis-use ( as insinuated on Channel TV ).

The proposals would only cost 3 million but would include private, paid parking which would pay for the costs of the development.

No, sorry, I do not buy it. The whole committee, its proposal, its intentions and the way it has been allowed to present and publicize its ideas stinks of something really fishy !!

kat

If this goes ahead the view from St James will never be the same . the noise it will create will also interfere with any functions .. including weddings .no longer will they be able to pop down into the Sunken Garden for wedding pictures as it will be a blank paved area with chewing gum and fag ends . And a prime space to encourage the skate boards.

please keep this green pocket garden for all to enjoy, it was given to the Guernsey folks as a garden not a car park