Approval given for controversial flagpole

An artist's impression of the flagpole.
An artist's impression of the flagpole.

A controversial application to install a civic flagpole in a scenic area of Alnwick – which split opinion and sparked an objector petition signed by hundreds of people – has been approved.

Earlier this year, the town council submitted a proposal to the county council for a seven-metre-high white aluminium pole, to be placed adjacent to the war memorial and used for key events, including the Remembrance parade.

The flagpole is to be sited on the flat area of grass to the lower part of Column Field, near to the B1340 Denwick road.

The application was a revised version of a scheme drawn up by the town council in 2016 – located in a slightly different location in Column Field – but was withdrawn following objections. It was hoped that the new plan would allay concerns, but it still met with objection, with around 700 people signing a petition and numerous letters against the bid sent to the county council.

Concerns included potential noise that the flag would cause and that the structure would not be in keeping with the conservation area.

But the scheme also attracted letters of support, with those in favour saying it was an excellent idea and was a fitting location.

And now, county council officers have approved it under delegated powers.

The officer report states: ‘The rationale for siting a flagpole in this location is understood. It stands at a key gateway to the town centre and in close proximity to the war memorial where its use during civic ceremonies would be justified.

‘It is considered that the proposed structure would not have a negative visual impact.’