max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Great Horkesley: Campaigners question Constable claims

12:00 05 February 2013

Stephen Bunting with a 3D model showing the proposed Horkesley Park Heritage and Conservation Centre

Stephen Bunting with a 3D model showing the proposed Horkesley Park Heritage and Conservation Centre


THE company behind plans for a new £25million heritage centre in the Stour Valley insists it will display original paintings by John Constable.


It was responding to concerns from the Stour Valley Action Group (SVAG), which is opposed to the proposed Horkesley Park visitor attraction, claiming it will ruin an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The planning application, which will be considered by Colchester Borough Council at the end of the month, includes details for a fine art gallery at the site called The Chantry. On the Horkesley Park website, it states it will display works “by John Constable and other artists of the region”.

But a spokeswoman from the SVAG said: “Knowing the extraordinary value of Constable paintings, and knowing that Constable’s works and their whereabouts are exceptionally well documented, the Stour Valley Action Group has been attempting to check the credibility of these claims.” She added: “It would be immensely helpful to us all if they would release some information on the works they propose to exhibit.

“If they insist they cannot release this information on the grounds that it is commercially sensitive, then we can only suggest that the council take steps to verify their claims in advance of the planning meeting.”

Hector Bunting, partner of Bunting & Sons, which is behind the plans, said: “The creation of an art gallery within the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that will display original paintings by John Constable and other artists of the region will be a major coup for Colchester and the area.” Kate Bunting, also partner of Bunting & Sons added: “We understand that SVAG has encouraged people to write to the paper attacking what the council’s consultants state are key attractions of Horkesley Park, seemingly in an attempt to sway public and councillors’ opinion.

“Although this is not surprising, it is a pity it attempts to detract from celebrating the wonderful benefits that will be delivered by Horkesley Park.”

The Horkesley Park Heritage and Conservation Centre, which was rejected by Colchester Borough Council in 2011, has been scaled down and includes a demonstration nursery and indoor display ring.

The proposed new buildings, designed by UK architect of the year Sir Michael Hopkins, have been relocated away from the AONB.

However, objectors claim the scheme is not financially viable and would destroy the peace and tranquillity of the area.



Sharon Halls and Daniel Compton's baby, Evie

An Ipswich couple have launched a desperate online appeal to raise at least £184,000 for the care of a premature baby born 12 weeks early in the Dominican Republic.

Emergency services at the scene of the accident at Barton Mills.

The motorcyclist, 20, who died following a crash on the A1101 at Barton Mills yesterday is an airman from RAF Lakenheath.

Accident near Hintlesham causes delays.

There are delays on the A1071 near Hintlesham following an accident involving a car and motorbike this morning.

Light aircraft crashes in Essex, killing two people.

Two people have died after a light aircraft crashed in a field in Essex.

Are you a budding young writer?

Are you a wizard with words? Does your imagination race at 100 miles an hour and keep you awake at night?

Felixstowe's Martello Tower P, in Langer Road, open as part of Felixstowe's Heritage weekend.

A project to restore a defensive fort dating back to the Napoleonic era has received a £50,000 boost from a heritage funding cash pot.

Anne Humphrys and Bec Jasper have set up PACT support group for parents and families of children with disabilities.

Huge increases in the number of children in Suffolk suffering from mental health problems were today laid bare - amid major concerns about the quality of services youngsters receive.

B&Q in Anglia Retail Park will close by 2017.

Home improvement giant B&Q is set to close one of its biggest Suffolk stores - at Anglia Retail Park on the edge of Ipswich, it can be revealed.

The Nestle Purina site in Sudbury

A Sudbury pet food factory is under increasing pressure to tackle foul odours as it is revealed an environmental regulator recorded 40 stench complaints since last month.

Web fire

A kitchen fire was extinguished in Walder Grave Way, Manningtree, this afternoon.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages