Helter skelter sculpture slides out of contention

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A BID to build a 30 ft high sculpture depicting a helter skelter on the seafront has been unanimously refused by council planners.

The plan to put the aluminium structure on the Pelham Roundabout was recommended for refusal by Tom Tanner, borough planning officer, ahead of a meeting of the authority’s planning committee on Tuesday (January 7).

Councillors agreed with his recommendation and voted unanimously to refuse planning permission.

The sculpture would have replaced the dilapidated fountain on the roundabout at the junction of Breeds Place, Denmark Place and Castle Street.

A total of 205 letters of objection and 13 letters of support were received by the council after the application was submitted to Hastings Borough Council in October.

A replica of the sculpture was burnt as an effigy at last November’s bonfire celebrations.

The main issues raised included character and appearance of the art work, poor location, highway safety, health and safety, over dominant size and scale , views of seafront, future maintenance and insufficient consultation.

Mr Tanner’s report was presented to councillors at Tuesday’s meeting. In it he said: “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 setting. 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 restaurant, its overall mass does not relate to that of the nearby building or others in the locality.”

Mr Tanner added that the aluminium surface proposed would be reflective and stand out in relation to its surroundings, as well as alter views of the seafront.

Backed by the Fairlight Arts Trust, the project was designed by London-based artist Henry Krokatsis.

Cllr Godfrey Daniel, chairman of the council’s planning committee, said: “There were sound planning reasons for refusing permission for the ‘helter-skelter’ on the roundabout next to The Italian Way. Hopefully, the benefactors will give consideration to a more appropriate piece of artwork in that location which would meet our planning concerns.”