A FACELIFT is planned for Weymouth's Grade II-listed Queen Victoria statue at Greenhill.

The work could include waxing the bronze, plinth cleaning and recarving.

The statue was erected by public subscription in 1902 at the northern end of the Esplanade in front of the Church of St John. It stands more than 16ft high.

The Portland stone plinth has four decorative carved panels and four bronze dolphin figures on each corner.

The panels contain inscriptions saying the statue was unveiled by Princess Beatrice.

Members at tomorrow's borough council planning and traffic committee meeting will be asked to grant permission for an accredited building conservation firm to carry out the work through the Townscape Heritage Initiative. The works to the plinth involve cleaning the stone and then protecting it with a lime-based coating.

Specific elements of the decorative carved stone panels on the plinth will also be recarved, algae and vegetation removed and cleaning carried out to reduce 'green' staining caused by the bronze statue and dolphins.

A report to the meeting says: 'Due to the location of the statue, the stonework, carving and bronze work is subject to pollution and weather elements on a daily basis.' It adds that features picked out for recarving have severely deteriorated and are now barely recognisable.

The reports says: 'The use of shelter coat, new stone and recarving of specific areas to reintroduce lost features is therefore considered to be important to preserve the stonework and also preserve the descriptive historical background of the statue.' Work on the bronze will dramatically change its colour from an aged green patina to a deep brown and also reduce future staining to the plinth.

The proposal still has to be referred to the Government Office of the South West because it is a council suggestion and the committee will be asked to delegate approval for the work pending a response from English Heritage and referral to GOSW.