Prince Albert to return to town centre

The siting of a statue of Prince Albert alongside a Sussex town hall was allowed, an inspector finding that it would preserve the setting of the listed building and the character and appearance of the town centre conservation area.

The Prince Albert statue once stood on an Albert memorial clock tower, which itself stood in the town centre between 1864 and 1973, the inspector recorded. The tower had been demolished in 1973 following a fire, and the statue had been stored in a depot since then. The council’s museums committee had been seeking to remount the statue in a public place for some time.

The inspector observed that the town hall was a highly attractive building which dated from about 1880, remarking that its setting amongst more modern development accentuated its prominence within the street, and as such contributed to the architectural significance of the building. He remarked that the statue was not in a particularly good condition, some of the facial features having eroded. Nonetheless, it was not completely worn, and the remainder of the statue including the robes remained evident. He was satisfied that the subject person would be recognisable and appreciable, and that its local and historical importance was such that its return to public display would be a considerable public benefit.

The inspector considered that the statue and plinth would not be particularly tall and would not be unduly prominent against the architectural elegance of the town hall elevation. He concluded that the contribution that setting made to the significance of the designated heritage asset would not be undermined to any discernible degree.

Inspector: Richard Allen; Written representations

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