As a pupil at Petworth Boys School at the time of the bombing and in later years responsible for agreeing the site of the present memorial stone, the inscription and arranging a service of dedication on behalf of the parish council I find it very sad that there is such a problem in agreeing a new memorial.
The original planning application, as approved, reads: “Site address: land at Laundry Cottage Woodlea and Grass Mere Horsham Road, Petworth, W Sx.”
There is no mention of the school site, a completely separate area from the properties listed.
Had it appeared in the application there could well have been objections.
When the matter was raised with the SDNP, I received a rather short letter headed: “Site address: land at Laundry Cottage Woodlea and Grass Mere Horsham Road, Petworth (land of former school site in Petworth).”
It then referred me back to the original application.
What is the truth? Was permission granted for the school site?
I have not seen a site plan although being sent details of housing plans, no doubt it is intended to build right up to the footway, a memorial could be a costly loss of land.
The town council should not give way on this matter, the history of Petworth requires recognition of the event.
Perhaps something can be agreed and a memorial unveiled when the 75th anniversary is marked in September.