February 25, 2020 3.45 pm This story is over 50 months old

Cleethorpes 72ft palm tree sculpture set for approval

It’s certainly a talking point

Plans for a 72ft tall palm tree in Cleethorpes, which is taller than the Angel of the North, looks set to get the go-ahead.

The sculpture, submitted by North East Lincolnshire Council, is proposed as part of the town’s regeneration plans and would sit on the North Promenade opposite Wonderland.

Councillors on the authority’s planning committee have been recommended to approve the plan at a meeting on March 4.

The 22 metre tall tree, designed by artist Wolfgang Weileder, would be illuminated by spotlights and serve as a “warning for the future” on climate change.

It forms part of £600,000 regeneration plans for the town which would also include illuminations, custom street furniture and shutters of shops painted by artists.

Illuminations would be put up on the North Promenade as part of the proposals in Cleethorpes.

Councillor John Fenty, cabinet member for regeneration at the council, said that the public art would be a “talking point” and that he hoped it would bring in more visitors.

But Councillor Matthew Patrick, Labour leader of the opposition, warned against “steamrolling” through the plan and called for opportunities for local artists and content.

Meanwhile, the project has had mixed reactions from local residents.

Louise Emberson, from Roundway in Grimsby, said in a letter to the authority that it would be a “laughing stock” and the money would be better spent on another sculpture.

Created by artist Wolfgang Weileder, the palm tree would sit on the North Promenade.

“Absolutely ludicrous waste of money, it will be filthy within six months,” she said.

“If this funding is only able to be used for icons, then spend it on something that will add to the ethos of the resort. Why not have a trail of smaller relevant statues like trawlers or fish?”

But Neil Cartwright, Queen’s Parade in Cleethorpes, said the town has a lack of public art and supported the plan.

“Public works of art are lacking in our town,” he said.

“To have attracted external funding and a prestigious artist is a coup for Cleethorpes.

“Please proceed with this landmark sculpture and I hope this is the first of many works of art placed in the public space.”

SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from our coverage every week and insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.