Helter skelter plan sliding out of contention

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AN AMBITIOUS bid to build a 30ft high helter skelter sculpture on the seafront has slid out of favour with town planners.

The plan to build the aluminium structure on the Pelham Roundabout has been recommended for refusal by borough planning officer Tom Tanner.

Member of the planning committee will decide on Tuesday whether to agree with the officer’s recommendation.

Backed by the Fairlight Arts Trust, the project has been designed by London based artist Henry Krokatsis. However Mr Tanner’s report to the committee states it has attracted 205 letters of objection and just 13 in support.

The main issues against the plan were character and appearance, poor location, highway safety, health and safety, views of seafront, future maintenance, insufficient public consultation and loss of light.

Mr Tanner writes the sculpture would be much larger than the existing 1950s built fountain.

He also states that the town does not have a traditional helter skelter ride or a traditional light house.

In his report he states: “While the proposal has a clear link to the seaside it only has a very weak link to the wider character and history of the town and that it has no special connection to the site or its immediate settting. The overall size of the structure is much larger than the existing fountain. While the proposal would be nearly as tall as the nearby Italian Way, its overall mass does not relate to that of the nearby building or others in the locality.

“The aluminium surface proposed would be reflective and it is felt that this will stand out in relation to its surroundings, will alter views of the seafront and affect the historic setting of the nearby Pelham Crescent and St Mary in the Castle which are key seafront landmarks.”

Mr Tanner concludes: “While a replacement artwork is considered acceptable in principle, the scheme has a weak connection to the history and character of the area.”