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Royal British Legion snub as Tenterden war heroes will not have streets named after them

By Rachael Woods

The suggested family names for streets in the Tenterden development (Tent 1), which will see 249 homes constructed between Recreation Ground Road and Smallhythe Road, received the unanimous backing of Tenterden town councillors.

But construction firm Taylor Wimpey has rejected the names citing “legal issues”, which has forced town councillors to go back to the drawing board at the 11th hour and come up with a new set of suggestions based on the history of the area.

Royal British Legion members, Stanley Goodsall, Neil Beaven and Bill Chantler at Tenterden War Memorial

Royal British Legion members, Stanley Goodsall, Neil Beaven and Bill Chantler at Tenterden War Memorial

The refusal came as Ciaran Downey, a spokesman for Dandara, the second firm behind the development of Tent 1, said he was “happy to leave it to the town council to choose the street names”.

Ashford Borough Council also says it wants to preserve the names of the war heroes, subject to approval from next of kin.

Neal Beaven, chairman of the Tenterden branch of the RBL says he feels “let down” by the decision and the lost opportunity to honour the fallen in the town’s dozen new roads, which he fears will lead to them being named after “building firm executives, 16th century town mayors, or cosy, nondescript subjects”.

An image of the new homes proposed for Tenterden

An image of the new homes proposed for Tenterden

He said “The Legion was approached by Tenterden Town Council to suggest names suitable for the new streets and I compiled a list of families who had lost multiple members, whose names are inscribed on the war memorial, but I have since found out they are not being allowed.

“I feel very let down by the decision but most of all we are letting down the young men who paid the ultimate price and lost their lives fighting for this country in two world wars.

“The Royal British Legion is the custodian of remembrance and if we have the opportunity to keep the memories of these men alive we should take it.”

Stanley Goodsall, 87, is one of the relatives of the fallen soldiers who lost three uncles – two in the First World War and one in the Second World War.

Tenterden's war memorial

Tenterden's war memorial

The Goodsall name was one of those put forward by the RBL as a street name and Mr Goodsall, who himself served for 11 years in the Merchant Navy, said he was disappointed by the decision.

Mr Goodsall said: “I’m the only one of the Goodsalls left and when I go the name will die out. It would have been nice to have it as a street name.”

A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said: "A number of street names have been suggested for our new development.

"Unfortunately due to various legal issues, it has not been possible to proceed with some requests."

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