‘Kneeling Tommy’ sculpture given belated planning permission by council chiefs

The 'Kneeling Tommy' statue.
The 'Kneeling Tommy' statue.

Planning bosses have given formal approval to a new memorial to mark 100 years since the end of the Great War in Washington.

The kneeling ‘Tommy’ sculpture was unveiled on Remembrance Sunday at the Washington Village cenotaph, off Spout Lane.

But it was only officially given the go-ahead earlier this month.

Several businesses and community groups donated time and money to make the project a reality in time for the commemoration.

The initial idea came from Joan Atkinson, the chairman of Washington Bloom Society, and Clifford Chapman of local firm Clifford Chapman Staircases.

The application was backed by Sunderland City Council’s Conservation Team.

In advice to planning officers, the experts said: “The centenary of WWI has been commemorated in a number of ways across the country and the installation of silhouette sculptures has been widely accepted as an appropriate method of marking this important milestone in our history.

“Whilst development proposals will be resisted on the green spaces in Washington Village the installation of the sculpture is seen as complementary to the recently listed cenotaph and does not detract from the either the significance of the listed building or the amenity provided by the greenspace.

“The sculpture is relatively small in scale, benefits the community and allows the people of Washington Village to remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice on their behalf.”

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service