March 4, 2020 10.28 am This story is over 20 months old

72ft tall Cleethorpes palm tree sculpture given go-ahead

It will tower over the seafront

A 72ft tall white palm tree, which is taller than Angel of the North, will tower over Cleethorpes seafront after approval from councillors.

North East Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee backed the sculpture, which will be based on the North Promenade opposite Wonderland.

The 22 metre tall tree, designed by artist Wolfgang Weileder, will 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 will also include illuminations, custom street furniture and shutters of shops painted by artists.

The project attracted mixed reactions from residents, with some describing the sculpture as a “laughing stock”.

A white palm tree, created by artist Wolfgang Weileder, would help to attract visitors to the town, councillors said.

But councillors said they hoped the palm tree would bring more people to the town.

Councillor Henry Hudson said despite criticism of the sculpture, people will still want to see it for themselves.

“Whether you love it or hate it, we are going to go and have a look at it,” he said.

“I think it will do what it is designed to do and increase footfall for the town.”

Councillor Stephen Harness, chairman of the planning committee, admitted that he did not like the sculpture at first.

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

“I had a knee jerk reaction to this, but sometimes an idea has to sit for a period of time,” he said.

“This may encourage more people to come to the resort.”

But, Councillor Tim Mickleburgh disagreed and described the palm tree as “barmy”.

He said: “The thing that concerns me is, what on earth does a palm tree have to do with Cleethorpes?

“The town has got nothing to do with palm trees whatsoever.”

The project will come as part of a wider £7 million regeneration plan in the town, which was approved by senior councillors in March 2018.

Funding was secured from the Coastal Communities Fund to regenerate the promenade, town centre streets and introducing public art.

North East Lincolnshire councillors approved the palm tree sculpture by six votes to four.

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