PLANS to build a new D-Day memorial on the Hampshire coastline have been given the go-ahead.

Civic chiefs have approved proposals to create a tribute to the thousands of servicemen who took part in the Normandy landings, which changed the course of the Second World War.

The memorial will be built at Stokes Bay, Gosport, scene of intense activity during the build-up to the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe.

Stokes Bay was one of the sites where huge concrete caissons were built before being towed to France to form the famous Mulberry harbours, the massive structures that enabled supplies to be offloaded.

It was also used as a training ground as well as an embarkation point.

The proposed memorial will be built beside Stokes Bay Sailing Club, which occupies a seafront building that was used to control operations.

Older residents can recall seeing Normandy-bound tanks lined up nose-to-tail along roads in the town. As D-Day approached Gosport was visited by King George VI, Winston Churchill and General Montgomery.

The scheme includes a semi-circular war memorial garden and two existing memorials, which will be moved from their present sites.

A report to members of Gosport Borough Council said: "The proposed memorial and associated planted would bring together several memorials

that are scattered along Stokes Bay.

"The existing memorials all have merit but their significance is considered to be lost amongst other structures and fail to give a focus that adequately celebrates the many facets of the significance of Stokes Bay."

Described as the biggest seaborne invasion the world had ever seen, D-Day marked the beginning of the end of the war.

The planning application said: "The memorial will serve as historical touchstones linking the past to the present and enabling the community to remember and respect the sacrifices of those who participated in WWII and other conflicts.

"It is intended that the memorial will represent a focal point for the community, particularly on occasions such as Remembrance Sunday or anniversary events."

The Gosport Society did not object to the application but described the site, which is next to a sailing boat storage yard, as "underwhelming".