Public hearing to take place over controversial 180ft Elizabeth Landmark in Northumberland

A public hearing will take place to help a planning inspector decide whether a controversial 180-foot artwork in the Northumberland hills should go ahead.

By Ben O'Connell
Monday, 4th May 2020, 4:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 1:49 pm

However, a date has not yet been set, as part of the appeal over the proposed Elizabeth Landmark.

The proposal was rejected by 13 votes to three at last July’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s strategic planning committee.

The application, for the 56-metre steel sculpture on the summit of Cold Law, west of Kirkwhelpington, had been recommended for approval by planning officers, but following a site visit, a majority of councillors felt it was an inappropriate location for a structure of this kind.

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CGI of how the site could look

Upon its refusal, the team behind the landmark immediately said that it would be appealing the decision and this was registered with the Planning Inspectorate in January.

Now, the inspectorate has confirmed that the appeal will be considered at a planning hearing – something that the local authority had requested.

A county council spokeswoman said: “We are pleased that this appeal will be considered via a hearing rather than written representations – something which the council requested and supports.

“We will be assisting the Planning Inspectorate to make the arrangements for the hearing so that it runs smoothly and in a transparent way.

“When the hearing formally starts, the council will be an active participant – presenting our arguments that the Inspector should support the Council’s decision to refuse the application.

“We are in the hands of the Planning Inspectorate in respect of timescales and now await further information from the inspectorate team.

“We will be informing all parties of the arrangements for the hearing as soon as these are available.”

The idea for the monument, a tribute to the Queen and the Commonwealth, was first revealed in May 2018 by the owner of the Ray estate, Lord Devonport, with the design – Ascendant, by Simon Hitchens – selected from a choice of three that August.

As we reported in March, the applicant has also resubmitted with the bid to the council, with additional information including an economic impact assessment and a visitor strategy plus ‘a more comprehensive’ design and access statement and statement of community engagement.

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