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Remembered Today:

Hill 60 - View blocking house proposed.


bierlijn
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  • 1 month later...

The Western Front Association Bulletin (No 88, which arrived today) carries a short piece saying that "while there is every reason for WFA members to sign the petition if they so wish ... the WFA does not take lightly the role of lobbying and tends only to do so for occasional but extremely serious matters on which we are likely to have a consensus". It argues that the position re Hill 60 is not clear-cut and "some take the view that a reason for the war being fought was for the Belgians to decide for themselves what they wish to do with their own country".

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As a long standing member of the WFA I am not best pleased with these remarks.

I will wait until I receive the Bulletin before commenting further.

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I was disappointed to read the comments. and would have expected the WFA to have given its support to the campaign. While I understand that the people and Government of Belgium are free, there can surely be nothing wrong in acting within that country's legal framework to protect the site. That freedom was surely part of what our country was seeking to defend.

Keith

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I am at Hill 60 several times per week and recently overheard a group of British visitors discussing that they had not been given the full facts regarding this case and that the proposed new build was not on Hill 60 and is alongside existing houses. They also felt if you move slightly to the left of the 1st Australian Tunneling Company Memorial or stand on the rail bridge itself, then the view into Wipers is exactly the same as from the summit of Hill 60 ( hence a compromise )

They offer their citizens house build space and the view all be it slighty to the left is maintained! This was their words and confirmation not mine however, I also now feel they have a case as their conversation did make sense! Perhaps this is the reason why a fine organisation such as the WFA has come to their descision?

Maybe online information changes considerably once on the ground?

I'm sure there is a valid reason on why the WFA has made this decision!

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My visits are much less frequent, but on my most recent visit to the salient a few weeks ago, I made a point of visiting Hill 60, and trying to soak up the view. I accept that there will, provided that the planned house is not surrounded by leylandii be some possibility of moving about to obtain a view, but I do feel that the overall effect will never be the same. The Belgian authorities will have the final say, as indeed they should. I just hope that they decide to protect the view.

Keith

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Thank you Keith,

the vieuw would never be the same anymore.but it is up to the court to decide.

kind regards

Sabine

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Sabine I know how passionate you are about this subject rightly so,has any one been in touch with the WFA alot of members can send alot of e mails I believe they were involved somehow in saving the Butte De Warlencourt OR is it a done deal all bar crossing the t`s and doting the I`s

BIFF :poppy:

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been in contact with some but at this stage, I'm not sure if 1000 emails would help.

it's a special court that has to decide

I'll pm you soon

(have found a place we could visite next time)

kind regards

sabine

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Sabine I wanted to send you an e mail but I rec a message you are unable to rec messages??

pm me

BIFF :wacko:

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  • 2 weeks later...

a group of British visitors discussing that they had not been given the full facts regarding this case and that the proposed new build was not on Hill 60 and is alongside existing houses.

I challenge anyone to find anywhere where the impression has been given that the house was to be built inside the preserved battlefield area.

They also felt if you move slightly to the left of the 1st Australian Tunneling Company Memorial or stand on the rail bridge itself, then the view into Wipers is exactly the same as from the summit of Hill 60 ( hence a compromise )

their conversation did make sense!

The only view from the summit of the hill is the Hill 60 cafe and surrounding houses. You would need to be up a 20 foot crane to see over them. I was going to let this ridiculous post pass, but the impression it gives that there is any view from Hill 60 itself left, bar over the plot from the extreme western edge of the hill which is proposed to be built upon, cannot be left unchallenged.

Attached a panorama we shot to show the current situation, taken from the west side of the hill. The Australian monument referred to is in the extreme left hand frame facing Ypres and the house would be in front of that. Edge of this frame, trees along the railway line. To the left of the Australian monument, out of shot, is the car park, and to the left of that is the railway bridge. There might be a view of Ieper from over there, but you would 60m+ from Hill 60 and outside the preserved battlefield area.

If you want to stand on Hill 60 and see the town the soldiers were fighting for, and from there see the graveyard in which some of them lie, stopping this house build is the only chance. It is all very well to have a preserved battlefield, but stripped of the context in which the engagements were fought diminishes it immeasurably. I am very sorry to have had to add what I feel is a very unnecessary clarification.

Hugh Shipman

www.savehill60.org

post-19252-018100900 1290041042.jpg

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Hold on! My post does not require clarification. The on site conversation was valid and they had a point. That is why you have chosen to only post your panorama from behind the trees instead of in front of them. May I respectfully ask you to post a pic looking into Ypres from the Australian Tunneling Coy Memorial enclosure or whilst stood upon the Railway Bridge itself please! The views are self explanitory and if you also did not airbrush my comments ref compromise, then again there is always a bigger picture here.

As you are aware, we both live nearby and often visit this site. In my post I confirmed the overheard discussion of other Brits who were visiting the site and especially regarding to the WFA situation. If you wish to ignore this that is up to you however, their conversation and my revealing of their conversation may well assist you with a compromise to us Brits and to the local Belgian population who have every right TODAY to live where they wish within in their own country.

Perhaps not such a ridiculous post as you put it as others and especially the WFA are clearly looking at this situation from other angles also!

Chris.

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Chris

This is the view that will be missing if the construction goes ahead.

John

post-1365-031086300 1290089333.jpg

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Hi John.

Nice pic mate however, your pic reveals only part of the view. The boundary fence is the fence running away from you but if you move slightly left, you still get the same view as your pic! if you stand up against the Australian Tunnelers enclosure or in the car park, you get the same view and if I am right here, that view will be protected as a compromise?

I was speaking with Iain McHenry ref this very case and he informs me that he also believes that view will be protected along with walkway/view space maintained to the right hand side of the railway line looking back into Wipers. Does anyone else have any official word on this?

Maybe this is the compromise that will allow local Belgians to live alongside Hill 60 along with securing a compromised view?

By the way, the view from Hill 60 has been compromised for years now. I am on the hill at least 3 times every week and in summer, the tree canopy and existing buildings restrict much of the view and it is only in winter that the view is partly opened up. The building of houses all along the frontage of the hill has saw to that. How do you prevent one house from being built whilst accept others which obstruct a similar view?

In an ideal world I would like to see all the houses removed or not be built in the first place however, the world is not ideal and today, real people live here!

Politics is one thing, realism is another!

Are there WFA members watching and listening, if so can you confirm the organisations view on this please?

Chris.

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The age old problem again, we brits have to realise, that we have no right to impose our thoughts on the people living on the battlefields, it's an evolving living landscape, and there will be development, in many cases sites have been lost forever, ie boezinghe, the proposed house is not being built on the site of hill 60, if it was maybe there would be some cause to object, however, the view of ieper, however important some may feel it is, is not "a site", remember had the buildings not been re built after the war, where would we all stay, eat, drink? oh and how would we get there with no roads?,there has to be development, if the house proposed starts doing b&b i guess they would do a roaring trade with all the visiting brits.

The Western Front Association Bulletin (No 88, which arrived today) carries a short piece saying that "while there is every reason for WFA members to sign the petition if they so wish ... the WFA does not take lightly the role of lobbying and tends only to do so for occasional but extremely serious matters on which we are likely to have a consensus". It argues that the position re Hill 60 is not clear-cut and "some take the view that a reason for the war being fought was for the Belgians to decide for themselves what they wish to do with their own country".

These posts are worth mentioning just as are the petitioners posts. This being so, then why has an element of doubt crept in and why has a fine organisation such as the WFA posted this accordingly? We are members of this fine forum to ask these important questions!

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It's no good asking WFA members, Chris. The decision and the statement are those of the WFA Trustees. I don't think any of the current Trustees are regular GWF visitors.

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Hi Chris, thanks for this. That being the case, then I'm sure there will be other dare I say, well placed forum members who may have more on this WFA statement....

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  • 2 months later...

Just read on another forum ground work is taking place at the build site. Does this mean the court case was lost?

Roel

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  • 3 weeks later...

After 16 days without a reply I assume there are no new developments? :unsure:

Roel

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Well there is now! I have just returned from Hill 60 and the JCB's have been working hard. The diggers have removed the top soil and clay up to about 3 feet deep over the entire house area. A quick look over the fence revealed an iron harvest pile including a British shovel head. I could also see at clay level, a few spent cartridge cases, much rusted shell casing fragments but not much else without actually entering the site.

Whether any human remains were found during digging operations I have no idea.

Chris.

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The position is that we are still awaiting a court decision on forbidding any building work until the court has come to a final decision. It is unfortunately legal for this work to commence, and the ground would have to be restored 'to its original condition' if the case goes the way of the Save Hill 60 campaign.

There is no qualified archeologist present, and I have explained the reason for that here:-

http://ypres1917.3.forumer.com/index.php?showtopic=736&st=60

Hugh

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  • 2 years later...

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