A WAR memorial put in place 84 years ago will be dug up and moved to make space for a shopping centre and new homes.

Swan Housing Association plans to move the Laindon War Memorial, in place since 1935, this week.

The developers have appointed the Queen’s own fine art and antiquities removal experts Momart, who have a Royal Warrant, to oversee the move.

The fountain will be “stored on site” and the war memorial temporarily installed close to Laindon Health Centre until it can be permanently repositioned having made way for 86 homes, 138 flats and a shopping parade.

Critics claim the developers have failed to keep them informed of the plans.

Gina Blackford, 59, treasurer of the Basildon and Laindon Royal British Legion, said: “I am concerned about what happens for this year’s November service.

“We are also worried about what is happening in the time while they are doing the works.

“I think we should have been given more information.

“It feels like nobody is talking to each other at all.”

Member Mike Mackay, 77, added: “It’s been an ongoing issue for so long I have pretty much lost track.

“I don’t know what is happening at all.

“It feels like it’s been left until the last minute.”

Basildon historian Ken Porter said he will be meeting developers later this week to discuss the future of the memorial.

Swan Housing promised to do all it can to protect the memorial having taken 3D scans so any damage can be restored.

Geoff Pearce, executive director of regeneration and Development at Swan said: “We have been working closely with residents and community stakeholders to ensure these important monuments are able to be re-sited before taking centre stage at Laindon Place.

“As works have progressed quickly, this temporary re-siting will allow us to deliver a new High Street, shops, homes and health centre, while ensuring the Laindon War Memorial can continue to be honoured at Remembrance Day.

“An appropriate event will also be arranged to celebrate their return to Laindon Place in 2020.”