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Lincoln Bomber Command Memorial park approved

Phase one plans to build the Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial (LBCM) on Canwick Hill in Lincoln have been approved by council.

Members of the North Kesteven District Council Planning Committee voted in favour of the erection of the Chadwick education centre and gardens for the memorial park on June 24.

The £3 million project will commemorate those flying from one of the county’s 27 Bomber Command stations to fight in World War II, with many never to return.

The location was chosen due to its direct views across to Lincoln Cathedral, which provided those flying with their last landmark view of the country.

The memorial park will comprise of landscaped peace gardens featuring memorial items from across the world, plus an education centre for exhibitions, interpretation, educational and lecture space, creating seven jobs and a number of volunteer roles.

The Chadwick Centre will be a state-of-the-art interpretation and education centre. Its roof imitates the wingspan of the Avro Lancaster.
The Chadwick Centre will be a state-of-the-art interpretation and education centre. Its roof imitates the wingspan of the Avro Lancaster.

As part of the plans, a 30 metre spire will also be erected, with walls surround the sculpture listing the 25,611 names of those who served.

However, the application for a spire will be considered by a planning committee in August.

There will also be junction improvements in the area to accommodate the daily access to the site, and 135 car parking spaces onsite, plus 20 cycle racks and links to bus routes.

The committee heard that it has potential to attract 50,000 visitors in its first year from next summer, increasing to more than 80,000 visitors a year.

This will contribute around £2.25 million to the local economy, plus additional increased awareness of the Lincolnshire’s aviation heritage and encouraging more centres to be erected across the country.

Cllr Marion Brighton OBE, Leader of NKDC, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to progress and now approve this significant and lasting memorial in Bomber Command’s home county.

“Not only does it honour the names of those thousands of men who served with bravery, loyalty and dedication, but it also draws together a comprehensive information resource about the history of Bomber Command, its strategic importance in securing victory and the role of many other countries within the campaign.

“I am especially impressed with the sensitivity of the Centre’s design and thoughtful landscaping of the Memorial Park. The contemporary and striking curved roof design reflecting the Lancaster’s iconic wing span while incorporating hidden solar panels is well-thought out and responds sensitively to the site’s wider settings.

“It will be an undoubted asset to us all here in North Kesteven, and serve the county and nation well too.”

The overall height of the memorial is 102ft (31.09m), which is the wingspan of the Avro Lancaster.
The overall height of the memorial is 102ft (31.09m), which is the wingspan of the Avro Lancaster.

A spokesperson for the LBCM added: “The LBCM Trust is extremely grateful for the unanimous support of the NKDC planning committee in granting permission to erect the Chadwick Centre and surrounding gardens.

“This permission will allow the Trust to start work on the site to create a significant international tourist attraction reflecting the importance of the County’s contribution made to World War Two and the bravery and sacrifice of those who served in Bomber Command.

“The centre, which will include a purpose built education facility, exhibition spaces, reference library and research rooms will also serve as a venue for community groups and commemorative events.

“Over 40 volunteers have already become involved in the transcription and research of the Rolls of Honour from Lincoln Cathedral. There is much work to be done to both this and other information sources so more volunteers will need to be recruited.”