A CONTROVERSIAL two-metre cast-iron statue dubbed “the robotic Angel of the North” will be temporarily installed at an iconic cliff-top in Dorset.

The statue, called LAND, will be installed at Clavell Tower in Kimmeridge from April 2015 after it was granted temporary planning permission at Purbeck District Council's planning committee this week.

Created by Antony Gormley, It will be installed as part of a celebration to mark the Landmark Trust's 50th anniversary, but will only be in place until May 2016. LAND will be one of five statues placed around the country to mark the anniversary.

The proposal has split opinion in the local area and was narrowly voted through by the council by five votes to three.

Peter Wharf, chairman of the planning committee, said the installation would be “a bit like marmite.”

Mr Wharf said: “Yes, it will be good for the area and it will bring additional tourism to the area, though that will put a lot of strain on the local highways.

“I have doubts that it will sit neatly next to Clavell Tower and I think it will be slightly discordant with the area. I was told that if it was a permanent structure then the council officers would have recommended it for refusal.

“I can see the arguments for both sides, it may well being additional tourism to the area which will be good or the local economy but it might also bring additional strain.

“As it's only there for a year I can see the benefits, but someone said to me it was like the robotic Angel of the North.

“I think it's a bit like marmite, people will either love it or hate it.”

The Landmark Trust is a national charity that restores and refurbishes historical buildings that have fallen into disrepair and then lets them out to tourists. Since it was founded, the trust has restored 200 buildings.

Clavell Tower was rescued by the Landmark Trust nearly eight years ago and Caroline Stanford, historian at the trust, said the trust had approached Antony Gormley to create the statue and said the human-size statue would reflect man's place in time and space.

She said: “About eight years ago we rescued the Clavell Tower and we wanted to do something not just for the people who stay in our buildings but for the whole population across the country to mark our anniversary.

“We really feel that it will be quite a quiet, thoughtful presence on the top of the cliff, and we hope that everyone who is walking along the South West Coast Path in Kimmeridge will be able to see it.”