Controversial sculpture approved

AN innovative sculpture has been approved for Ely s riverside. Sluice, pictured, will use light and video technology to brighten the riverbank - but the piece has not been without its share of controversy. The district council s planning committee refus

AN innovative sculpture has been approved for Ely's riverside.

Sluice, pictured, will use light and video technology to brighten the riverbank - but the piece has not been without its share of controversy.

The district council's planning committee refused permission for the sculpture's original site opposite Jubilee Gardens, following bitter opposition from residents.

The friends of Jubilee Gardens felt the sculpture would ruin views of the river.


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Yesterday (Wednesday), however, the committee approved the project for an alternative location next to The Maltings.

The four-metre high steel sluice replica will project light images of water ebbing and flowing in synchronisation with the real river flow using data gathered from Norfolk's Denver Sluice by the Environment Agency.

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Designed by artist Lulu Quinn, the sculpture will also feature sounds of water from speakers built into the structure as well as blue and white lighting to animate the artwork.

Alison Callaby, Team Leader - Town Centres at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: "Sluice is a unique artwork commission for Ely's riverside, highlighting as it does the link between water management and the physical environment.

"The images on the screen will reflect the changing nature of the river as it passes through the Denver Sluice - sometimes it will be calm and reflective, at other times it will surge."

It is hoped the project will be completed by the summer.

Chairman of the Friends of Jubilee Gardens, Susan Long, welcomed the new location.

“We think it’s a good position for the piece and we have written to the council in support of the new location.

“The shape of the piece and the boat hoist opposite will complement one another well.”

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