‘Monstrosity’: Queen’s tribute sculpture will be ‘desecrating the landscape’ say locals

The Elizabeth Landmark: Viscount Devonport explains monument

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A highly contested tribute to the Queen has been given the go ahead. Planned to be constructed on the Viscount Devonport’s Northumberland estate, the new “Elizabeth Landmark” will supposedly celebrate the Queen’s “anchoring of the Commonwealth around shared values of tolerance, respect and understanding.”

The Elizabeth Landmark sculpture, also called Ascendant, will be 55 m (180ft), cost £3 million and be three times higher than the Angel of the North.

The monument will be a thin metal spike intended to look like a thin slice of the hill has been removed and pointed to the sun at its zenith on Midsummer’s Day.

The Viscount has said: “I am delighted that the Planning Inspector has supported our project and that the committee’s refusal in 2019 has been overturned.

“It is our ambition to create a sculpture that is not only celebratory of Queen Elizabeth II and The Commonwealth, but which is also a magnificent piece of artwork that acts as a beacon for visitors and tourists to the region – benefiting the local rural economy and businesses alike as does the Ray Windfarm.”

READ MORE: ‘Wonderful’ Yorkshire market town named one of the best holiday spots

Facebook group Keep the Wannies Wild, which has fought against the sculpture since 2019, has over 2,000 members.

Jean Jones, our volunteer Planning Consultant said: “We do not have any other recourse to prevent the planning permission being implemented although that of course depends on the inclination of the appellant to carry out a development that is very unpopular locally and which would require him to raise funds.

“We believe that public money would not be forthcoming where the level of local objection is so high.”

Locals have loudly objected to the sculpture on social media.

On the Elizabeth Landmark page, Sonya Wright wrote: “Tourists come to our area for its natural untouched landscapes with beautiful views for miles and miles.

“The windfarms are hideous enough, but this monstrosity has no place here it’s the worst thing I have ever seen.”

Sue Underwood said: “I cannot comprehend the thinking behind the promoters of this eyesore.

“How on earth does a rusty spike sited in the middle of a remote rural landscape fit the tourism brief.

“I can’t see this drawing visitors in and if the crowds did arrive the area could not cope.

“This sort of stuff is more likely to deter the people who come to admire the natural surroundings and unspoilt countryside and severely disappoint any that want to see so-called modern art which is clearly out of context in this environment.”

Tim Bird said: “I am a local resident. Just look at the picture, what does it add to the landscape? Looks like a broken old castoff from a wind turbine, and I quite like wind turbines.”

Dave Bennett wrote: “Please explain how desecrating this wonderful landscape will achieve any of the claimed outcomes?”

And Graham Green said: “The local community – which includes many artists, poets etc absolutely oppose this vanity development.

“A huge girder embedded in the hill is in no way sympathetic to its environment – it is an area hugely valued for its wildness and open space.

“There is no evidence – none – that it is beneficial to tourism for the area. It’s such a shame that despite these facts being well known to the developer they insist on trying to impose their vanity project onto us.”

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