A new sculpture paying homage to Chewton’s past can now be erected in the town after it got the green light at this week’s Mount Alexander Shire Council meeting.
But approval for the 2.15 metre high piece proposed for installation on private land at 160 Main Road Chewton was by no means a bump-free process.
The proposal which would add further to Chewton’s ever-expanding collection of the static sculptures had drawn 13 objections, alongside 17 letters of support.
And councillors Stephen Gardner and Rosie Annear both highlighted concerns that the proposal had created a concerning degree of divisiveness – including at an objector meeting.
“It’s very concerning the way it’s split the community. The main thing for me is it really is a planning issue,” Cr Gardner said.
Cr Annear’s concerns particularly related to community division created around the perceived “worthiness” of the chosen subject proposed for the sculpture – something Cr Annear believed should not concern the council whose task she thought should instead remain focused on matters of planning probity.
Cr Bill Maltby moved that the sculpture should be approved for installation as suggested, arguing that Chewton’s sculptures depicting yesteryear characters, had potential to become a tourist drawcard akin to the Wimmera-Mallee silo art trail.
And while also in favour, Cr Christine Henderson raised concern about the ad hoc nature of the proliferation of Chewton’s street sculpture to date, and also about their ongoing maintenance arrangements. Read more in today’s Mail…