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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 March, 2005, 11:00 GMT
'Viewing wall' art sparks protest
Provisional design for the neoSCOPE viewing wall
Residents say the area is beautiful enough without neoSCOPE
More than 1,000 people living near the site of a proposed public work of art have signed a petition to try to stop it from going ahead.

The four-year Panopticons project will see six 21st century landmarks built on high points in Burnley, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley in Lancashire.

Residents protested over plans for a viewing wall, neoSCOPE, to be built at Kemple End at a meeting on Wednesday.

Mid Pennine Arts director Nick Hunt says neoSCOPE would improve the area.

Local people are being asked to help shape the final designs.

They say the panopticons would bring more traffic and rubbish to the area, and are concerned about who would maintain the sites.

The Singing Ringing Tree design for Burnley
The Singing Ringing Tree will sound in Burnley
At a public meeting on Wednesday local people said the Ribble Valley was beautiful as it was and the area doesn't need anything to improve it.

Nick Hunt thinks residents are concerned about the safety aspects.

"I think it was identified as a bit of a problem site because there is a potentially lethal drop there," he said.

"It is the site of a former quarry of course.

"I think people were suggesting that sooner or later something needs to be done to make it safe."

Panoramic views

A spokeswoman for the project said the views of local residents will be taken into account and a final design for the viewing wall will go on public display on 18 March.

They say if at the end of public consultation there is an overwhelming dislike for the neoSCOPE, the plan will have to be dropped.

One of the other designs is the Singing Ringing Tree to be built in Burnley, a musical sculpture which incorporates pipes which sound with the wind.

A hilly community space is planned for Hyndburn.

Work is due to begin on the first three landmarks - the 25m Halo, dubbed "the flying saucer" in Rossendale, Colourfields for Blackburn and the Atom for Pendle.

Panopticon means a structure which creates a panoramic view, setting down the aim of the project on some of the county's highest points.

Mid Pennine Arts is co-ordinating the Panopticons and the first three designs were created as part of a competition with the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The structures - which are all shelters, viewing platforms or beacons - will be built by 2007.

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