New site hunt for Britten statue

SUPPORTERS of a proposed sculpture in honour of composer Benjamin Britten are looking for another site for it after objections were raised about placing it on the beach near Aldeburgh's fishermen's huts.

SUPPORTERS of a proposed sculpture in honour of composer Benjamin Britten are looking for another site for it after objections were raised about placing it on the beach near Aldeburgh's fishermen's huts.

Town councillors said they are against the proposed beach setting for the sculpture, which is set to be in the shape of scallop shells, because they feel it is too close to the town. The Aldeburgh Society is also against the proposed setting.

Plans are currently with Suffolk Coastal District Council and are expected to go before the development control sub-committee on May 28.

The original proposed site was further north of the town on a Site of Special Scientific Interest near the Thorpe Road car park, but it was moved further towards the town because of concerns from English Nature about the potential effect on plant life including sea pea.


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Renowned artist and sculptor Maggi Hambling OBE, of Rendham, is planning a steel sculpture in the shape of two huge, broken scallop shells rising up from the shingle shore at Aldeburgh, where the composer lived and worked.

The proposed work is around 11ft high, 13ft deep and 17ft wide.

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Fundraisers are in the process of raising the £70,000 needed for the project to go ahead, and are more than halfway towards their target. Meanwhile, work has begun on the sculpture.

"We don't think it's the right site for this very large piece of sculpture," said town mayor Felicity Bromage.

The town council has given its support to the idea of the sculpture in principle, it does not agree with the proposed siting.

They have requested a site visit be carried out with the dimensions of the sculpture clearly shown.

Judith Foord, chairman of the Aldeburgh Society, said: "We all agree that the site is bad."

She felt the siting was "absolutely vital" and "almost as important as the work itself".

"It should surely be possible to reconcile the positioning of what is a major work of art," she said.

Suffolk Coastal District Councillor Maggy Wilson, who is part of a steering group for the project, said they would be taking a walk along the beach on Easter Monday to try and identify another suitable spot.

She said she "absolutely agreed" with the town council that the sculpture should be "more on its own".

Maggi Hambling said: "I'm at one with Aldeburgh. I always wanted it to be further along so that it was just outside the town."

She was "optimistic" about it, she said.

"We will find the right place for it."

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