Strawberry Star Homes, the volume housing division of international property company Strawberry Star Group, has unveiled plans to preserve the historic Vauxhall War Memorial located on the site of their new mixed use ‘Lu2on’ development.
Strawberry Star Homes are building 758 new homes on the site of the former Vauxhall Motor Works factory, on Kimpton Road, in Luton. The scheme aims to regenerate the area by providing new lifestyle facilities, including a gym, hotel, shops and restaurants. A landscape masterplan has just been revealed as part of the ongoing vision for the site. It considers the current position of the existing Vauxhall Motors War Memorial by creating an enhanced setting for the heritage asset.
The memorial itself records members of the local community, who were causalities of WW1 and WW2. The Vauxhall factory was a target for enemy bombing as it played a prominent role in the British efforts during the Second World War. The memorial lists the names of 39 workers, killed by a bombing raid on Friday, 30 August 1940. As many as 59 bombs fell on the factory, killing the 39 and injuring 40 more. In total, 23 Vauxhall employees died in WW1 and 193 in WW2. The memorial plates, previously located in the main works canteen, directly behind the memorial, were moved to their present location in 1991.
Santhosh Gowda, Chairman of Strawberry Star Group, comments: “We are delighted to be part of the restoration of such a historically significant landmark in Luton. We strongly believe in preserving and promoting local heritage. Plans to restore the Vauxhall War Memorial were evolved in tandem with the site planning. Throughout the development of Lu2on, we will continue to support the Vauxhall Motor heritage on the site and within the area. Strawberry Star has embraced this part of Luton’s local history and character into our emerging masterplan proposals.”
With the help of landscape architect, Gillespies, Strawberry Star Homes will create a new setting and a series of enhancements to the memorial. The current ‘wing walls’ around the memorial will be removed and replaced by a simple, dignified soft landscape setting. New trees will encircle the rear as a green backdrop, creating a level of intimacy for private reflection and remembrance. Lu2on will include planting to help enhance the setting of the memorial, with species chosen to provide seasonal interest all year round. The area in front of the memorial will be repaved and a ramp installed to increase accessibility.