Plan for 'unfinished' sculpture at Scarborough Castle to be 're-explored'

A decision on whether to install a controversial “unfinished” sculpture in the grounds of Scarborough Castle has been delayed.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 5:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 5:02 pm

Plans for the artwork, part of the Wild Eye trail, a collaboration between Scarborough Council English Heritage and Scarborough-based environmental art charity Invisible Dust, had been due to go before borough council planners today.

Last month, a proposal for a sister sculpture at Abbey Plain, next to Whitby Abbey, was withdrawn after almost 90 people complained about the “eyesore”.

Today, Scarborough Council’s planning committee were told that the applicant, Invisible Dust, had now requested that a decision be deferred on the Scarborough Castle sculpture.

Artist's impression of the proposed sculpture

Planning officers had recommended that permission for the artwork to be placed on the site for a decade be approved.

The authority’s planning manager, David Walker, told the meeting: “The applicant contacted us following publication of the agenda and report and has asked that the committee defer consideration of this item.

“As you will be aware, this application forms part of a wider project and they are keen to re-explore both this proposal and the project as a whole.”

The artist says the sculpture is only 'finished' when it snows

The sculpture, created by artist Ryan Gander OBE, had been due to be part of a heritage trail.

The two-metre high creations are described as dolos shaped, reminiscent of a concrete structure that is used as a barrier to prevent coastal erosion.

The sculpture will only be “finished”, however, when it snows according to the supporting documents submitted as part of the planning application as the work is intended to make a statement about climate change.

Despite the identical Whitby sculpture attracting a flood of complaints and objections, just a single letter had been sent to Scarborough Council during the consultation for the artwork at the castle. That resident was in favour of the sculpture.

Although in support, the member of the public did question why people would have to pay to enter the castle grounds to view the sculpture.

The project had been backed by £140,000 from the Government’s Town Deal Fast Track Fund.