ECCENTRIC inventor Ed Walley is considering his options after spending tens of thousands of pounds creating a 130ft high iron man which has been refused planning permission.
Ed, who built the structure with two welders over three winters, had hoped to site the 39 ton giant at his children’s adventure attraction, the Crocky Trail in Guy Lane, Waverton.
And he was approached by David Pickering, chairman of Chester The Giant City, about using the iron man to promote a festival based on the giants in the Midsummer Watch Parade.
But Chester City Council planners thwarted his vision for the structure – which is twice as high as Anthony Gormley’s Angel of the North sculpture – after deciding its fails to respect the surrounding landscape and was inappropriate within the Green Belt.
Mr Walley, a dairy farmer and former Sheriff of Chester, is appealing by arguing the site is not in the Green Belt.
He said: “I will have to go to appeal. Most appeals are successful.”
Asked why he had not submitted an application before embarking on the ambitious project, he commented: “Life isn’t like that. It would never have happened at all if I had done that.”
Currently lying on its belly in a field at the Crocky Trail, Mr Walley had intended to attach the three-ton arms and lift the structure using a 250-ton crane.
It featured in last year’s bonfire extravaganza at the trail when Mr Walley climbed up to set fire to the head which had been packed with straw.
Mr Walley relies on revenue from the Crocky Trail because like all dairy farmers, he is struggling due to rising costs and the low price of milk.
“I couldn’t survive without it, “ said Mr Walley, who previously built a 65ft iron man sited at the trail which did receive planning permission.
Objector Nigel Barnes, of Waverton, said: “The sculpture will be 39 metres – nearly 130ft – and will be visible from 10 miles across the Cheshire plain.”
Mr Barnes said motorists would want to stop and photograph the iron man in what was a narrow country lane.
Fellow resident Philip Appleton described the structure as an “eyesore” and “abhorrent”.
He added: “There may be an inherent danger due to the height of the structures. Further to this, if they were to collapse during or after being set-up there may be injury or worse to children and other family members.”