Villers-Bretonneux: Road Realignment and Proposed New Visitor Centre

By Michael Barker

The new roadworks — a combined Australian and Conseil-Général de la Somme operation diverting the road and making it lower in the landscape — have been successfully completed, creating a new, safer entrance to the site with a subtly landscaped car park to the south of the entrance pavilions. This includes a green sward replacing the old road location and hedge barrier that largely conceals passing traffic.

There is also now a proposal for a new Interpretive Centre — a small, discreet building of some 800sq m — to be completed by 2018, its location still to be determined. At a meeting with Brigadier Chris Appleton of the Office of Australian War Graves, it was suggested this might be positioned behind the tower. I countered that it could be more appropriately sited adjoining the car park. The subject will be discussed imminently and will be addressed to all parties concerned, including The Lutyens Trust.