Plea to let Sir Antony Gormley sculptures stay on Suffolk beach
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
Planning permission is being sought to ensure sculptures by a well-known British artist can remain on a Suffolk beach.
Four pieces by Sir Antony Gormley are currently on show on Aldeburgh beach, close to the South Lookout building.
Sir Antony is perhaps best known for The Angel of the North statue, which towers over Gateshead in the north-east.
The Aldeburgh installation consists of four pieces made of cast iron and are partly buried in the beach. They have no base to them and sit among the shingle.
The pieces were installed back in August last year but the planning statement submitted to East Suffolk Council, by East Suffolk Planning Services, shows that the applicant did not believe planning permission was needed for the installation.
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"The placing of these sculptures on the beach was not a cynical attempt to circumvent the planning process but a simple misunderstanding that planning permission was not required," read the statement.
The statement also makes clear that the pieces are not up for sale and are instead intended to be "a genuine art installation designed for the cultural benefit of the town".
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The application notes that the sculptures are not far from a number of listed buildings, including the South Lookout building itself - but suggests that the sculptures bring more "public benefits" than harms to the area.
"The impact of the sculptures on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area is negligible and certainly 'less than substantial'," said the report.
The sculptures are also at risk from the sea but the report notes they have little monetary value, with the applicant being locally based to keep an eye on them.
"Nevertheless, the applicant recognises that the sculptures may one day be lost to the sea," read the statement.
The sculptures are not the first works by Sir Antony Gormley in the area.
In 2015, a statue by the artist was installed at the Martello tower, in Slaughden, as part of a year-long project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Landmark Trust properties.
East Suffolk Council will make a final decision on the sculptures in due course.