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Lighting plans for St Helens' Dream artwork
A SPECIAL report has found that having the Dream landmark sculpture lit up at night will not pose a significant accident risk.
Now Dream’s full potential may soon be realised after a new planning application was submitted to St Helens Council seeking for permission for the striking sculpture to be bathed in light.
Part of the original concept was to use light as an key part of the 20-metre high white sculpture of a young girl's head.
However, concerns were raised over the possible distraction it could cause to motorists on the M6, which Dream overlooks.
St Helens Council commissioned a 53 page report from transport advisors Mott Macdonald in Liverpool to assess the possible risk of road accidents should Dream be illuminated.
After applying detailed mathematical formula and carrying out an in-depth investigation, they concluded that they did not believe that the proposals represented any distraction or danger.
This was in direct contrast to the Highways Agency, which had objected to St Helens Planning Authority from completing the full application.
However due to strict funding deadlines, the council agreed to remove the issue of lighting from the original proposal, with the intention that it would be revisited at a later stage.
It is now intended to bathe Dream in soft white light, but not drown it out.
This will be achieved by a series of floodlights directed towards the head.
Plans for skyward beam of light from the top of the head, which were part of the original designs, have been temporarily shelved.
It is hoped that an illuminated Dream will further raise the profile of St Helens and change perceptions in the minds of potential tourists and “inward investors”.
Gary Conley, a former miner at the Sutton Manor pit where Dream now stands and one of those responsible for bringing it to St Helens, said: “In my view, rather than cause a distraction, it will be more of a focus. In the long term it’s more likely to reduce accidents on that stretch of motorway.
“The Angel of the North is on a bend as busy as the M62 and they did exactly the same there.
"Dream is set 100 metres back. But we won’t rest until we have the beam of light.
"Its working title was ‘ex terra lucem’. Or ‘out of the earth comes light’. It is the artist’s signature. The beam of light reaches out to the skies with our dreams.”
AND Dream makes a starring TV appearance in a BBC documentary tonight.
Jaume Plensa’s artwork features in 'How to Get a Head in Sculpture', Thursday 28 October on BBC Four at 9pm.
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