New sculpture for St Leonards seafront is approved

Proposals to erect a new sculpture on St Leonards seafront have been given the go ahead by town planners. 

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 11:23 am

On Wednesday (July 21), Hastings Borough Council’s planning committee unanimously approved plans to erect a metal art installation on an area of green space opposite 101 to 109 Marina.

Titled ‘Mussell’, the sculpture is designed by Leigh Dyer, a local artist who is responsible for a number of other art installations around the town, including ‘The Landing’ on the beach opposite The Carlisle pub and the ‘Winkle’ sculpture on Winkle Island.

It has been commissioned and funded by the Foreshore Trust and will incorporate work from local school children, welded to the base of the metal sculpture.

Proposing the plans be approved, Cllr Matthew Beaver (Con) said: “Whether it’s to people’s tastes; who knows? Some people with love it, some people will loathe it. That is just the nature of art. 

“I can see no particular reason not to recommend it, so I’ll move the recommendation with the additional informatives as mentioned by the planning manager.”

A similar view was put forward by Cllr Ruby Cox (Lab), who said: “Obviously art is always a matter of taste. Some people will indeed like it and some people won’t like it. 

“Nevertheless it is an addition to the visual amenity and I can only see that there are positive benefits to it.  I can’t see that there is any reason to refuse it or to think that there are any disadvantages to having this particular sculpture in this particular place.”

While unanimously approved, there were some mixed views around the location due to its position within a conservation area. Similar concerns had been raised by some local objectors.

Concerns had also been raised about the possibility of glare from the metal affecting road users. However, planning officers said this potential had been considered as part of (and made safe through) the sculpture’s position and orientation.

For further information see application reference HS/FA/21/00096 on the Hastings Borough Council website.