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Should Harpenden Council seek to preserve the town's Air Raid shelters?
Discussions are currently underway in Harpenden to decide whether Air Raid Shelters should be preserved in the town.
Town Councillors recently visited a number of Air Raid Shelters in the Town in order that they could see the context and value of the shelters and now face the challenging question of whether they should seek to preserve one of the shelters.
The Environment Committee had considered options for the management of four air raid shelters within the town centre and on Harpenden Common, which included infilling and sealing off.
However, councillors were minded to see for themselves the greater potential of the air raid shelters with a view to exploring the potential to preserve and share them in some way, perhaps as an educational resource.
During the visit councillors were approached by members of the public who were fascinated in what was going on. They seemed to approve the shelters being explored and interested in how they may be preserved in some way.
Chair of the Environment Committee, Councillor Simon Leadbeater, said he was encouraged by the curiosity shown.
He said:“I believe that the Council needs to be very considered in how the Air Raid Shelters are managed in the future. Clearly they have a strong historical relevance with the Town and this should not be dismissed.
"However, I am aware that opening a Shelter up for public access could be extremely costly, even in a controlled environment such as an educational resource.”
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