A request to move part of the Coronation Memorial Stone from its original site to a new one down the road has been booted out by Totnes Town Council.
Totnes Gardens group wanted to move the stone – which commemorates the Queen’s coronation in 1953 – from its present site off the Coronation Road roundabout to a patch of land opposite the hospital.
Councillors were told in a report the gardening group did not want to move the pillars that surround the stone or the arch above it, just the stone itself.
And they were reminded that previous advice from the town maintenance officer warned the stone may not survive being moved.
Cllr Georgina Allen said the council had already turned down a similar request from the gardening group concerning the Coronation Stone.
“I am a little confused as to why this has come to full council as it came to planning about two years ago and it was turned down,” she reported.
“It was turned down because the fear was, from expert opinion, that the stone would be damaged.
“The reasons for moving did not seem sound because, basically, it was in the way of their lawnmower when they were cutting the grass under the trees.”
Cllr Allen also questioned the point of moving just the stone and leaving behind its pillars and arch.
Cllr Pip Payne, disagreed, saying moving the stone could pave the way for making that stretch of road easier for vehicles to navigate.
He said: “I don’t see taking it apart as being an issue and putting it back together somewhere else, but either way you want to keep it together, that’s how it was made.
“Don’t muck about with our heritage, it’s just not on.
“But it is in the wrong place.
“I wouldn’t move it just for gardening and all that stuff, but if the day comes when you need to straighten that road up, because it is the main issue – it needs sorting there – I would say move it, let’s find another place. A better place.”
Cllr Marion Adams was strongly against the move, and recommended instead that the stone be cleaned up in time for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June next year.
“I would not like to see this moved,” she stated.
“It was put there a long time ago, it’s a feature of our town.
“I’d like to see it stay as it is but cleaned up with a good scrubbing brush to make it look nice - make a feature of it for the forthcoming celebrations in 2022, but leave it where it is.”
Cllr Jacqi Hodgson agreed, adding: “It would be much better to spend our time and resources on doing something extra on that patch of ground opposite the hospital.
“Why move something there and leave a bare patch and a mess somewhere else, rather than as Cllr Adams says, make it look really nice.
“If you start shifting really heavy stuff like that you will end up with a horrible mess. It’s ridiculous to do it.”
Cllr David Matthews said the gardening group wanted to put the pillars and arch into storage, rather than leave them in situ, but mayor, Cllr Ben Piper, feared they would never see the light of day again.
He added: “I commend the motion from Cllr Adams that we step up and look to tart it up and address its environment, and make a bit more of a feature of it.”