Plea to decide Scampton dog grave issue at Lincs showground
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The RAF’s application to move the memorial from RAF Scampton due to questions over the base’s future has proved controversial.
During the council’s annual general meeting, Coun Ian Fleetwood requested the planning committee hold its upcoming meeting concerning the future of the grave at the showground’s Epic Centre, encouraging members of the public to come and express their feelings towards the situation.
This would allow more space than the limited public seating at the council officers.
He said: “I want to ensure the public gets the opportunity to hear what is said and take into account where the council want to take it.”
The memorial, dedicated to Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s black labrador, has recently become a subject of controversy as the RAF submitted an application seeking permission to move it from its home at RAF Scampton to the current location of the 617 Squadron in Norfolk.
In its application, the force stated concerns about preserving the dog’s place of rest following uncertainty surrounding the housing of asylum seekers at the base.
Nearly 300 people have submitted comments to the council so far.
Coun Matthew Boles, who was elected planning committee chairman at the meeting, promised to look into organising the meeting in due course.
The proposed relocation has divided many since becoming public knowledge, with Coun Roger Patterson, member for Scampton, describing it as “a kick in the teeth for the community”.
However, others feel the grave should go where it would be best cared for.
Like many, Coun Fleetwood, member for Bardney, is of the belief the grave should stay at Scampton, adding: “It is part of the heritage of the base and so should be protected.”
The dog, whose name was a racial slur, served as the mascot for the Dambusters and was buried outside Hangar 2 at the request of his owner.
Lincolnshire Council’s archaeology department has recommended that the local authority reject the application, citing concerns over the impact it would have on the heritage of RAF Scampton.