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West Berkshire Council seeks reverse gear over Hungerford's 'tank' street names

Controversial decision may yet be changed

HUNGERFORD could be stuck with tank names for its new, 100 homes Lancaster Park development.

But there is still a slender hope that the position could change.

Last week this newspaper reported how local historian Hugh Pihlens had pleaded with developer Bewley Homes to ditch a proposal to name the roads after tanks.

He wrote to them stating: “Why, one asks? [And] what is the connection between an RAF Lancaster bomber crashing eight miles away in 1944 and five army tank names?”

He suggested instead that “local field and locality names are adopted, as has been the tradition in Hungerford for decades”.

Dr Pihlens offered a list of names he considered more suitable. He concluded: “I do feel it is important to find appropriate names for these roads, as they will be a link from the 21st century to our heritage for decades to come.”

Bewley Homes spokesman Chris Wotton said it was West Berkshire Council that had suggested the tank names and who “ultimately get to choose”.

However, he warned: “They’ve already been adopted, so it may be too late.”

West Berkshire Council spokeswoman Peta Stoddart-Crompton said: “The name ‘Lancaster Park’ is a marketing name only, created by the developer and will not appear anywhere in the official postal addresses.

“This is because there are many streets already using ‘Lancaster’ in the area. We try and avoid duplications where possible to avoid any confusion during a blue light emergency.”

Ms Stoddart-Crompton added: “Hungerford Town Council suggested the tank theme. Bewley Homes supported this theme. West Berkshire Council also supported the theme.”

Hungerford mayor Helen Simpson said town council colleagues had been unaware of the details of the process and had assumed it was part of a wider public consultation.

She added: “I’ve written to West Berkshire Council, now armed with more knowledge, and I’ve asked if it would be possible to look again at Dr Pihlens’ suggestions.”

The district council had said it was too late to make any changes, but Ms Stoddart-Crompton said: “We’re looking at the legalities to ascertain whether the names could be changed at this late stage.”

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