PLANS to build a peace memorial in Stratton St Margaret to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War are well under way.
Stratton St Margaret Parish Council has submitted a planning application to Swindon Council to build the memorial in time for the first commemorations of the Great War later this year.
The parish council finally secured the patch of land at the corner of Ermin Street and Grange Drive after asking Swindon Council to release it to them in order to build the memorial Coun Russell Holland (Con, South Marston and Stratton St Margaret) said he was pleased Swindon Council had waived the fees and was also providing free architectural services.
“I am delighted that the borough is able to support the parish council in this very worthwhile project,” he added.
“It is very important to remember all the sacrifices that have been made for the freedoms we enjoy today.”
Coun John Foley (St Philips), chairman of the parish council, said: “We have applied for planning permission to build our memorial.
“The borough council signed over the land to us so now it’s all go. It’s great now James Arkell has become our patron too.”
The new designs feature a steel pedastal supporting a world map on a concrete steel base.
Backing plans for the peace memorial are George Platt, John Foley, Martin Gardiner, Don Gardiner and Nigel Chalk
Members of the Royal British Legion in Stratton approved the designs before the council applied for planning permission.
John said: “The Royal British Legion were very pleased with the designs. They are very happy with what is going to go in.
“It will feature the names of all those villagers who have died for their country since the start of the Great War. It’s a peace memorial as much as a war memorial.”
Builders have yet to be appointed, but the work will be put out to tender by the council.
John said: “We have to put everything over a certain amount of money out to tender, so we don’t know yet who will build it.
“If we put it on that land the roads won’t get blocked and there would be no traffic obstruction on Remembrance Day. We want it dedicated before August 4.”
Despite having two memorials in Stratton – one in St Margaret’s Church and the other outside the Royal British Legion in St Philips Road – residents approached the parish council in 2011 for a central memorial to mark the centenary.
Children at Ruskin Junior School took part in a competition to design the memorial.
Ethan Carter’s design involving mirrors, called A Place To Reflect, was chosen from hundreds of entries by children across the area.
Residents have until March 18 to comment at www.swindon.gov.uk/planning application number S/14/0230.