Labour’s Armed Forces Champion Wins Protection for Gurkha Memorial
Labour Councillor Ellie Ormsby, Westminster Council’s Armed Forces Champion, has objected to a planning application on Horse Guards Avenue that would turn the area surrounding the Gurkha Memorial into a late-night dining venue.
The memorial, unveiled by the Queen in 1997, was sculpted by Philip Jackson and modelled on Captain Khemkumar Limbu, a Queen’s Gurkha Officer and member of the Royal Victorian Order. It commemorates the incredible service of the Brigade of Gurkhas to the UK over two centuries. This planning application would have turned the space surrounding the memorial into a late night dining venue open until 1am with outdoor seating, parasols and alcohol drinking.
Cllr Ormsby, and Westminster Labour, believe the memorial location must be protected as a space for contemplation and remembrance – particularly given the Gurkhas’ long fight for fair treatment and equal recognition for their service.
We’re very pleased that following Cllr Ormsby’s principled and sensible objection to the plans, the application has been withdrawn.
Cllr Ormsby said in her objection: As Westminster City Council’s Armed Forces Champion, I would like to lodge an objection to this application on the basis of its insensitivity to the Gurkha memorial located in the vicinity. The location is a place for quiet contemplation, reflection and remembrance where individuals and families travel from across the UK and afar to visit. The Gurkhas have spent decades fighting for fair and equal recognition of their service and their right to settle in the UK. I am therefore deeply concerned about the lack of sensitivity and implication of turning a location so precious to this group into a late night dining venue. It is our responsibility to remember the sacrifices servicemen and women from all across the globe have made for us and this proposal runs completely contrary to this responsibility. I would therefore urge for this application to be rejected on this basis.
Cllr Ormsby said: I am absolutely delighted that this application has now been withdrawn. This proposal was an affront to the memorial and I am glad the applicant has seen sense given the strength of feeling on this issue across the community.
View the planning application on Westminster’s planning portal
Contact Cllr Ormsby on: firstname.lastname@example.org