Concerns about flagpole proposal for landmark site

Column Field, Alnwick.
Column Field, Alnwick.

Concerns have been raised about plans to erect a flagpole near to Alnwick War Memorial in Column Field.

The seven-metre, white aluminium pole would be located at the back of the circular raised flowerbed and will be no higher than the war memorial.

Explaining the proposal, by Alnwick Town Council, a document states: ‘It is felt that locating the flagpole here will enhance both the (Remembrance Day) parade and other commemorations that take place in the town’. It adds: ‘Conversations with local people and groups have been very favourable to the idea of a flagpole within Column Field and particularly with the celebration in June of the Queen’s birthday’.

But objections have been lodged by residents and Alnwick Civic Society, which describes it as ‘an ill-considered proposal’.

Peter Ennor, from the society, writes: ‘The Civic Society objects to the installation of the proposed flagpole on the grounds that it would have a negative impact on the character and appearance of one of the most important areas of open space in the town.

‘Column Field is designated in the draft Alnwick and Denwick Neighbourhood Plan as Local Green Space and is also in the Alnwick Conservation Area. It is of special significance to the community for its beauty and its historic connections. It is situated in a prominent position at a gateway to the town centre.

‘The erection of the flagpole is an ill-considered proposal. The pole would be a large, prominent and incongruous feature and add clutter to Column Field. In particular it would spoil the setting of the Percy Tenantry Column, a grade 1-listed building and major landmark. The choice of material is also inappropriate.

‘The Society questions the need for another flagpole in the town. If one is considered necessary, an alternative, less sensitive site should be sought’.

However, the planning statement accompanying the application says: ‘Currently there is no permanent flagpole in Alnwick and during Armed Forces week at the end of June, a flag is raised on side of Northumberland Hall.

‘A flagpole located in Column Field would have much more significance and be able to be used for other key events throughout the year including the Queen’s birthday and twin-town visits’.