Plans delayed for art project

PUBLISHED: 09:35 10 November 2006 | UPDATED: 12:06 04 May 2010

Photo: SUPPLIED

Photo: SUPPLIED

SLUICE - an innovative art project which has divided the community - hit a stumbling block last week when planners expressed concerns about the location of the piece. The £40,000 project, funded largely by Arts Council England and conceived by artist Lul

SLUICE - an innovative art project which has divided the community - hit a stumbling block last week when planners expressed concerns about the location of the piece.

The £40,000 project, funded largely by Arts Council England and conceived by artist Lulu Quinn, was due to culminate in a sculpture at Jubilee Gardens, which would show the water levels at Denver Sluice using a video screen set into the piece itself.

But East Cambridgeshire District Council's planning committee has deferred the decision to go ahead with the project because of fears that the location will be unsuitable.

A joint statement from the council and Commissions East - also involved in funding the project - said: "The committee heard how the artwork had been developed in response to the site characteristics and whilst they were supportive of the artwork, noting that it would be a landmark piece of public art for the city, they had concerns about the specific location highlighted."

The Friends of Jubilee Gardens has opposed the scheme because members said the piece would eat up open space in the gardens and become a target for vandalism. Members of the group were at last Wednesday's meeting to voice their opposition.

"We said we thought the sculpture itself was not a suitable piece for this end of Jubilee Gardens, which has a green and semi-rural atmosphere," said the friends' chairman Susan Long.

"The sculpture is a hard, unyielding metal and glass object."

Jane Wilson, arts development manager of Arts Development in East Cambridgeshire, which is on the steering committee for the project said she was encouraged by the positive response to the piece itself from the planning committee.

"We will now review options for alternative locations along the riverside and we hope to begin a second phase of the planning cycle in the new year.

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