Not forgotten: A review of London’s war memorials

Date published: 
01 July 2009

Our report calls for more protection for the capital’s 6,000 war memorials to prevent their loss to neglect, theft or redevelopment. It concludes that the existing planning system does not offer sufficient protection to this unique aspect of London’s built heritage and local history.

The report calls on London boroughs to tighten planning policies to specifically cover the preservation of memorials. At the moment boroughs rely on generic policies relating to street furniture and heritage features that are not adequately protecting war memorials – and many boroughs do not even know where the memorials in their local area are.

The report highlights the work of the London Boroughs of Harrow, Bromley and Bexley as best practice, and urges other boroughs to follow their example. These boroughs have established an inventory of their local memorials so proper consideration can be given to any planning application that effects a memorial.

The information received by the Committee during this investigation is available below.

July 2009 On 12 October 2009 the Mayor wrote to the Assembly with his response to the Committee’s comments on his proposals to revise the London Plan, saying that "We have sought to take account of the Assembly’s recommendations about war memorials (see draft Policy 7.8)."

A new London Plan policy, policy 7.8 (Heritage assets and archaeology) now includes specific references to memorials: that they should be identified, preserved and restored; new development should make provision for the protection of archaeological resources and significant memorials; and boroughs… should include appropriate policies in their LDFs for identifying and protecting heritage assets scheduled ancient monuments, archaeological assets, memorials and natural landscape character within their area.