A campaign has been launched to try to stop Tranmere Rovers FC pressing ahead with plans to sell off land for housing development on the site of a World War I memorial.

 

The Ingleborough Road Memorial in Birkenhead, Wirral, has been ear-marked for 100 new houses on land owned by the football club, but an online petition has been set up to keep the field designated as a memorial to former Birkenhead Institute pupils who died during the First World War.

 

The petition was started just a few days ago by JMU

Journalism's Helen Dodd, and has already attracted

more than 150 signatures, as well as interest from local

media, BBC Radio Merseyside and ITV's Granada Reports.

 

Helen said: "We need to make more people aware of

what is happening as it isn't really public knowledge.

We feel very passionately about this and we want

people to help us make a stand. Power is in numbers,

so please join us."

 

Among those who have signed the iPetition include

John Riding, who commented: "The playing fields are

a memorial to the dead and should never be used for

any other purposes other than for what they were

originally intended. You would not build on the site of the

Cenotaph in Whitehall, and this memorial is no different

in any respect."

 

Les Highton commented: "I believe this is a total disrespect of our war dead and our heritage, and all in the name of money. If houses need to be built in Birkenhead there are many 'brown-field' sites to be brought back to life."

 

The land, thought to be worth £5m if sold for housing development, was formerly used by Birkenhead Institute and was bought by Tranmere Rovers from Wirral Council in the 1990s. The League One club has sought planning permission to build homes and to redevelop the local authority-owned Woodchurch Leisure Centre for the club and the community.

 

The famous war poet Wilfred Owen, who grew up in Birkenhead, is among those commemorated at the memorial site, and Helen, who works part-time at the nearby Wilfred Owen Story museum, added: "I think Tranmere are setting a bad example to people.

 

"I am fed up with businesses building on land for profit reasons and I think pieces of land with historical significance such as Ingleborough Road Fields should be kept. I have had so much support and I want to thank everyone who has got involved so far."

 

A Tranmere Rovers spokesman told JMU Journalism: "We have no comment."

Campaign to block memorial housing plans

By JMU Journalism Liverpool Life

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A petition to block the Ingleborough Road Memorial plans was started by JMU Journalism's Helen Dodd

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