Conservation status for Alderney's former Nazi labour camps

A legacy of Nazi rule, a sentry box at Lager Sylt.

There's a bid to put conservation and preservation orders on two of the sites used by the Nazis to inter labourers. One is privately owned, the other is the campsite at Saye.

The move comes as a major review into the true number of deaths of forced labourers in Alderney at Nazi hands is to be published on 22 May.

Kevin Gentle chairs Alderney's Building and Development Control Committee, and says Lord Eric Pickles, who commissioned the review, wrote to Alderney's senior committee earlier this year:

"To explore the listing of two sites and registration of a third site. They are the camp site (or Norderney, the German name) owned by the States, but in that land there is a private house. And Borkum (the German name) which is on the road towards the Impot, the rubbish dump.

The committee resolved in principle to pursue the potential registration as conservation areas of the two sites and the potential registration of the gate posts of the former Lager Helgoland site, which is now a housing estate."

Mr Gentle says consultation with private landowners needs to take place before any of the sites can be registered. The final decision will be taken at a public meeting.

He says conservation status would protect the sites:

"Heritage designation means any future development would preserve or enhance the significance or character of the area in question. So basically it's a conservation area, no you can't build 40 houses there."

In a move likely to please Lord Pickles, Mr Gentle says interpretation boards have been designed and ordered:

"The boards have been made and are on their way back."

They'll explain the significance of the sites under German rule and will have a QR code on them, which can be read by smartphones to access more information.

Meanwhile, an Alderney politician is angry that a time sensitive report into slave labour deaths during WW2 was mentioned in two national newspapers on 19 May, with the Mail and Times saying they could total more than 1,000.

Alex Snowdon, speaking personally, believes the panel of experts, commissioned by Lord Eric Pickles, should be making public their findings in Alderney, and not London, on Wednesday.

He says islanders should receive the presentation first and be able to ask questions:

"I would say it's absolutely vital that there's public engagement with a report as serious as this into the cost of life. I think not doing it is discourteous to Alderney and the community that live here."

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