We Have Been Pressing Buttons.....!

Brandon Lennon - Trustee sanding by the new spot. Please note: This mock up is not to scale, just to give you a feel of how she will look.
Brandon Lennon - Trustee sanding by the new spot. Please note: This mock up is not to scale, just to give you a feel of how she will look.

Hello everybody
After the disappointing message we last sent you, we thought we'd better follow it up with more positive news.
It's remarkable what a bit of bad publicity can do. After sending out our update regarding hold-ups at Dorest Council, The Times and The Daily Mail picked up on our story. Shortly after, the top brass at Dorset Council got in touch with an apology and a promise. We also now have the amazing Councillor Daryl Turner working hard and on our side, so are happy to say we are well and truly underway, although with a very different location than initially agreed. Please see photos mocked up of the new spot, which I hope you agree is a far superior spot to the one down by the Marine Theatre, which was only one of two spot originally sanctioned.

Mary’s new view. The new spot reflects the only portrait painted of Mary with Golden Cap in the background.
Mary’s new view. The new spot reflects the only portrait painted of Mary with Golden Cap in the background.

This spot sets Mary well and truly in the landscape where she worked. It also reflects the only known portrait of her. Check out Golden Cap in the background of the painting. The artist must have painted in the same spot where Mary's statue will go. There feels great energy and connectivity to the space that we are all thrilled about, and we know you will be too.

Denise Dutton welding the supporting frame to start Mary off and measuring up Ghillie.
Denise Dutton welding the supporting frame to start Mary off and measuring up Ghillie.

So now we have full consent from the landowners, we can move ahead with the planning permission. And of course, that couldn't be straightforward, could it? The new spot lies within a heritage zone and is also designated a Site of Nature Conservation Importance. This means we have to pay for a Heritage and an Ecologists Report to be done. This means more time-consuming paperwork and costs we didn't envision. Thankfully we have our contingency fund to help us out. 

However, the good news is that our amazing planners working with us pro bona, Terence O'Rourke,have said we are handing in the planning application by the end of the year, if not sooner. Because of this, we felt confident enough by the promise made by Dorset Council for a speedy planning process (as long as no substantial objections were filed) that we have decided to press a few buttons ourselves.

The Trustees and Committee members of Mary Anning Rocks decided last month to confirm with Denise Dutton, our artist chosen to create Mary's bronze, to begin work. If we didn't allow Denise to start, we would never hit our unveil date of 21st May 2022. So although we don't have planning consent just yet, we felt it was the right thing to do. See the photos attached of Denise starting to build the figures' armature, the metal framework that will hold the clay in place. And Denise measuring up Ghillie, a 10-month-old spaniel that was perfect in size and shape for Tray.

We have booked venues and paid deposits, so although nothing is set in stone (pun intended) until we are granted planning permission, we felt we had to start to plan and book things in. 

Let's hope Dorset Council keeps its promise to Evie and help push the planning through as quickly as possible.

Please keep your fingers crossed and send us all your positive vibes. 

As ever, we will always keep you posted

Thank you

All At Mary Anning Rocks

Posted by Anya on September 19th 2021

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