The application to develop Ingleborough Road Memorial Playing Fields in Birkenhead has been re-submitted.
Tranmere Rovers acquired the land, formerly the school playing field for Birkenhead Institute, from the Council in 1994. Wilfred Owen attended the Institute between 1900 and 1906.
The Wilfred Owen Association objects to the proposal and has submitted the following consultation response:
"Wilfred Owen Association (WOA) is disappointed to see that this application has been re-submitted without any consideration of our comments on the first proposal. The planning application does not give adequate consideration to the war memorial status of the whole site, or to the question of how best to sustain the memory of the young students of the Birkenhead Institute who were killed in the First World War. WOA views the application in its present form as ill-considered. It identifies only the tablet on the pavilion as the war memorial - without regard to the memorial status of the playing field, pavilion and trees - and the simplistic solution offered is that in moving the tablet off-site, the whole memorial status and meaning has been retained. This is not the case as the memorial was meant to be a facility for the young to enjoy sporting life. We, the Wilfred Owen Association, would like the planners to consider a way of sympathetically incorporating the memory of these young men by ensuring facilities for sport and recreation in any development and retaining the commeorative tablet as part of this. This is an important case, since whatever is decided may act as a precedent for future planning applications relating to war memorial playing field sites."
More information on the plans is on the Wirral News website: http://tinyurl.com/cu4342a
See also Daily Telegraph coverage (26 July 2012):