Anger over plans to demolish Eastbourne Wish Tower

Eastbourne Wish Tower Eastbourne Wish Tower will be demolished and replaced by a new building

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Eastbourne Wish Tower was built as a memorial to the the town's residents killed in 95 German bombing raids during World War II.

But poor upkeep and stormy weather have resulted in the building being marked for demolition.

It was opened in 1961 as a sun lounge and cafe, with local councillor Gilbert Foyle paying half the cost.

But Eastbourne Borough Council, which owns the building, has taken the decision to knock it down in the next few months.

The announcement has not proved popular with some residents, most notably Mr Foyle's son John.

He said: "It would be disastrous. There's no need to have it demolished - all it needed was a bit of care and attention."

Eastbourne was one of the most bombed on the south coast and was a regular victim to "hit and run" raids by the Luftwaffe.

It has been estimated 700 high explosive and 4,000 incendiary bombs landed on the seaside town.

'Suffering and fortitude'

Campaigner John Boyle said it was important that any new building continued to act as a memorial.

"This terrible suffering and the fortitude of the people that stayed can be easily forgotten," he said.

Neil Stanley Councillor Neil Stanley said he would like to see a new landmark building replace the Wish Tower

The council had to pay £38,000 to the previous leaseholder to get back ownership of the tenancy.

By the time it did the building had deteriorated and storms in December damaged the roof.

Councillor Neil Stanley, who is part of the Liberal Democrat administration, said: "We were looking at options of perhaps patching up the building for a year or two while we worked out what to do with it long term.

"But seeing the condition of the building has now said to us, what we need to do is demolish it quickly.

"We are looking at a [replacement] building that is possibly modern, possibly dynamic, something eco-friendly and eye catching. A reason in itself to come to Eastbourne."

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