A PROTEST group has been set up by residents to stop a 184ft tall monument from being built near Kirkwhelpington.

Plans for the sculpture by landowner Lord Devonport dedicated to the Queen on the summit of Cold Law – at a site known locally as “Tit Hill” near Kirkwhelpington – had been recommended for approval at last Tuesday’s Northumberland County Council strategic planning committee meeting.

But the recommendation was turned down by eight votes to six, and councillors agreed to defer any decision to allow members to visit the site.

At the meeting, Bellingham county councillor, John Riddle, and local resident Anne Palmer objected to the proposal. Now, the protest group ‘Keep The Wannies Wild’ has been set up to ensure plans for the £1m monument plans are rejected.

Anne Palmer said: “We feel so strongly that the consultation has been so inadequate and it’s our job to make people aware of the plans.”

The group, headed by four residents of Kirkwhelpington, Otterburn and West Woodburn, has also launched a Facebook page to inform residents of the plans.

Northumberland County Council carried out 34 days of consultation in Kirkwhelpington, Otterburn, Corsenside and West Woodburn in May and June last year for the public to view the three designs up for consideration. The authority recorded 43 written responses on three designs considered for the proposal, and notified 90 neighbours.

Mrs Palmer added: “We want to be involved in the decision making process. This is no expression of community feeling. It is one man’s idea of a tribute that will nevertheless dominate our shared skyline.”