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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 October 2006, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
Beach statues set to leave coast
Another Place, Crosby beach
The cast iron figures are spread along 1.86 miles of Crosby beach
Planners have vetoed proposals to allow an artist's beach statues to remain on the Merseyside coast until next year.

One hundred naked cast iron figures by Angel of the North creator Antony Gormley are located on Crosby beach.

Sefton Council, which delayed the decision by a month, voted against keeping the attraction, called Another Place, on health and safety grounds.

But Claire Curtis-Thomas, the town's Labour MP, has criticised the authority's "short-sighted" decision.

The statues had temporary planning permission until 30 November but Another Place Ltd - the company set up to keep the statues on the beach - wanted them to stay for at least another four months.

'Safety fears'

The attraction has already been exhibited in Belgium, Norway and Germany.

The application - which had been recommended for approval - was turned down on Wednesday because of concerns over health and safety and local wildlife.

Tory Councillor Debi Jones presented a dossier of concerns collected from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

"They had expressed fears about safety," she said.

"It is not about the frequency of the incidents it is the severity - there were two children in early September who had tried to go out to the furthest statue and the tide came around them."

Anglers' objections

But Mrs Curtis-Thomas criticised the councillors' decision.

"It is very short sighted with Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture in 2008," she said.

Objections were also aired by anglers, bird watchers and water sports enthusiasts who claimed the statues interfered with their activities.

Gormley's statues will be taken down on 31 October and could be set to move on to New York next month as originally planned.

Each statue is a cast of the artist's own body, weighing 1,433lbs (650kg) and standing 6ft 5in (1.96m) tall.

The figures are spread 1.86 miles (3km) along the coastline and 0.6 miles out to sea and are partly submerged at different times, depending on changing tides and weather conditions.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Watch a report on the statues



SEE ALSO
Council delays sea statues vote
21 Sep 06 |  Merseyside
Council asked to keep sea statues
18 Sep 06 |  Merseyside
Safety warning over sea statues
11 Jul 05 |  Merseyside
Statue hunters rescued from mud
10 Jul 05 |  Merseyside
Gormley unveils seaside artwork
01 Jul 05 |  Merseyside
Iron figures rise from the sand
13 Jun 05 |  Merseyside

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