PROTESTS have arisen at the prospect of a 5m high sculpture in a city park.

The feature is proposed by Chester City Council in Westminster Park on Hough Green.

The edifice, using strips of galvanised steel to form arches, would be surrounded by small areas of earth mounding and similar smaller sculptures, according to a report.

Planning officers at the city council have had six objections arguing the sculpture will be too tall and would be visually dominant.

Opponents believe it will be a target for vandalism and describe its design as "unattractive and disappointing."

They fear it will be climbed on, causing overlooking and has the potential to lead to accidents.

The feature will result in an increase in noise and disturbance in the area, they feel and argue it would be better located in the centre of the park.

The sculpture is proposed in a corner of the 18.5 ha public park which is designated green space and surrounded on all sides by houses whose gardens back onto the park, Chester's planning board is due to be told.

The intention is that the sculpture will enhance the recreational facilities and cultural value of the park.

It will not have a significant adverse effect, planning officers believe, stating it will be 40m from the closest boundary of the park.

It will not be highly visible from surrounding properties but will enhance people's enjoyment of the park, they feel.

Pointing out that "art is a matter of individual taste", they suggest the planning system should not choose between what is good and bad art.

The installation will not be out of keeping in the park and will add a point of interest, they insist.

Councillors will hear the height of the sculpture has been increased from 4m to 5m following discussions with the artists and the metalwork fabricator to enable steeper contours which will make the sculpture less easy to climb.

This is preferable to anti climb paint, it is suggested.

The application is recommended for approval to a meeting of Chester's planning board taking place on Wednesday January 28 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the city centre at 10.30am.