5,000 signatures reached
To: The Secretary of State for the Department for Culture Media and Sport
Protect Biggin Hill St George's RAF Chapel of Remembrance
Stop the part demolition of this iconic Grade II Listed Chapel, built by Sir Winston Churchill in 1951 as a permanent memorial to the 454 fallen airmen from Great Britain, the Dominions and Allied Countries - 'His Boys' - who won the Battle of Britain and flew from Biggin Hill and associated airfields throughout World War 2.
Why is this important?
The London Borough of Bromley Council's current planning application necessitates demolition of the Grade II Listed Vestry and change of use of part of the Nave (the St George's Room) to build a Museum, the design of which the vast majority of genuinely concerned people find appalling.
A Museum is long awaited at Biggin Hill, but the situation is incredible because there is an existing highly praised approved design, by the Biggin Hill Battle of Britain Supporters Club, which in no way affects the Chapel, but would provide the same level of support and with vastly superior facilities at less cost(*). Importantly it doesn't require the closure of the Chapel during the building works.
The new Council design will require the closure of the Chapel to visitors, also for services and the funerals of Veterans for over a year.(Apparently , since this petition was started, the previous total closure of the Garden of Remembrance on Health and Safety grounds has been reviewed). This was highlighted to great effect at the recent St George's Day Service, when a 95 year old RAF Veteran, proudly wearing his Air Crew Association tie, rose to his feet and announced his days were numbered and he wanted his funeral to be in the Chapel and his ashes placed in the Garden of Remembrance. But he could not die to order, how could they consider closing the Chapel for over a year?!
Other than those in the immediate locality of Biggin Hill, the many other interested parties, including ex-RAF personnel, and relatives worldwide of those commemorated, are in ignorance of these distressing plans!
(*) Four years ago, the previous Council project for a museum collapsed when the projected costs exceeded circa £5 million.