Criticism over £32k art project for Felpham

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Plans for a £32,600 art project in Felpham have been criticised due to a lack of consultation.

Councillor Paul English shared his concerns after an email from Arun District Council’s open space officer said: “What is proposed is a series of themed chainsaw sculptures, similar to those installed at Bersted Park and Hotham Park.

“We have advised Felpham Parish Council of the proposal as a courtesy, to let you know what form the art work will take once it is installed.”

Speaking to the Observer, Mr English deemed the ‘courtesy’ line to be ‘just plain rude’ and called for proper consultation to take place.

“I don’t mind if the community want carvings they can have carvings, but they have to be asked and to have a consultation they need more than one thing on the table,” he said.

“The S106 agreement states the developer will discuss what it is going to do, the only discussion is going to be do you want an owl or a fox – while the parish has said they want something interactive like giant furniture which could be enjoyed by all ages from the toddlers to the grandparents.

“What I’ve seen at the other sites aren’t fun for the children and make no difference to the adults. It is bit like having the sundial in Bognor.”

The concerns were raised with Arun District Council which confirmed a sum of £32,600 has been ‘set aside’ for an art project on open space which is due to be transferred to Arun District Council from the developer.

A spokesman for the council said it is set to hold a consultation workshop in order to gather community views at Felpham Community Hall.

They added: “This will be on a date yet to be set and run by whichever artist succeeds in the tender process.

“We look forward to working with members of the public, together with members of the Parish Council, to come up with ideas for individual pieces.

“We anticipate the scheme will be as popular and successful as the one enjoyed by many people in Bersted Park.”

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