New London statue rejected

An inspector dismissed an appeal for the retention of a statue in a central London street.

From the inspector’s reading of the submissions, the statue was of a relatively recently deceased person with strong local links and held in high regard by a sector of the community. The statue had been positioned amidst planters in the front of a property situated in an attractive urban street consisting of commercial and residential properties set back from the footway behind railings.

Assessing the effect of the development on the character and appearance of the building and the area, the inspector found the high quality statue to have a poor visual relationship with the otherwise uncluttered streetscene, exacerbated by its orientation facing east to reflect the religious beliefs of the person it commemorated but resulting in only the rear of the statue being visible when approaching along the street from a westerly direction.

The inspector concluded the statue caused harm to the character and appearance of the area, underlining the need to carefully consider the siting of commemorations and their relationship to the public realm. He found the statue did not comply with council policy or supplementary planning guidance on statues and monuments or design in the borough and dismissed the appeal. In so doing he had regard to the Equality Act 2010 and protected characteristics which include religion.

Inspector: Martin Allen; Written representations

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