Planning ‘blunder’ at Midhurst’s Memorial Hall is addressed

The wooden and bronze war memorial plaques which are now on display in the main entrance  of the new school
The wooden and bronze war memorial plaques which are now on display in the main entrance of the new school

RETROSPECTIVE plans to move a memorial plaque in honour of school pupils who died during two world wars have now been submitted to the South Downs National Park Authority.

But some town councillors have been baffled by the wording of the application.

The proposal before them from the Gilbert Hannam Educational Foundation was to ‘make good the removal of the war memorial from Midhurst Grammar School’.

But chairman of Midhurst Town Council John Etherington said: “This is worded wrongly. This is a retrospective application.

“This plaque was in the Memorial Hall, so called because of the plaque and there was a lot 
of controversy when it was moved to the new Midhurst Rother College building.”

But Colin Hughes said he believed the names of the plaque were related to the school and 
‘it wants to take its history with it to the new school building’.

Town councillors voted to make no objection to the application, although Mr Etherington used his vote against the proposal.

The Observer revealed earlier this year that formal planning permission and listed buildings consent should have been obtained before the Gilbert Hannam Education Foundation, which owned the Memorial Hall asked college staff to remove the plaque.

Although the action was reported to top officers at the national park authority and it was agreed the action had been illegal, it was decided not to take any enforcement action.

Later South Downs National Park chief executive Trevor Beattie told the Observer the national park was still considering where the plaques should be permanently displayed.