DORSET Council has backed the installation of two art sculptures to be put along Weymouth's seafront - despite objections from some councillors who believe the art is too political and is not in keeping with the area.

The sculptures, created by two different artists, will be sited at two locations on The Esplanade after getting approval by the Western and Southern Area Planning Committee on Thursday, September 9.

They have been created by Raphael Daden and Ben Russell and will make up part of the Weymouth Public Art Trail. The trail, which comprises of six pieces of artwork in various locations around the town already has four of its pieces confirmed for installation.

Dorset Echo: Weymouth Public Art TrailWeymouth Public Art Trail

The sculpture by Raphael Daden will be located east of the Jubilee Memorial Clock. A computer generated image of the artwork at the location was shown to the committee. It was described as a circle of stainless steal frame with acrylic translucent resin of different colours with an inscription which reads "seas are rising, levels are changing, so must we."

The other artwork by Ben Russell will be located further south on The Esplanade and is to be put in a planter. The installation will feature three pieces of Portland stone carved with various corals and various species of plants, many of which can be found on Weymouth Bay.

Senior Planning Officer, Thomas Whild, said that the application has been considered by conservation officers who have confirmed that there is no harm caused as a result of the sculptures to the surrounding area. They also said that they felt that the artwork would be an enhancement to the area.

However, cllr Louie O'Leary said: "I'm not against new art projects in Weymouth or on the seafront at all, but I am a bit concerned about some of the messaging on this artwork. It could be considered as messaging of a political nature and I think it is out of step with the surrounding area where we have got our memorials and I don't think it is in keeping with the heritage of The Esplanade. I therefore will be voting against it."

Cllr Paul Kimber disagreed. He said: "I took the opposite view to Louie. I don't think there is anything more important than global warming and obviously the artwork is going to highlight this and I actually believe this is so important. I will be giving my support of the two art works I think they look tremendous and it is something that Weymouth should be complimented on."

Cllr O'Leary added: "I'm quite concerned that tax payers are going to have to pay maintenance for what is overtly or insinuated political messaging by the authority. I think that's another issue and reason that it should be refused."

Cllr Nick Ireland said: "I don't think it's political. The government's own figures show Weymouth is going to be under water in 100 years' time. We should be highlighting the fact that we should be doing something."

Planning team leader Mike Garrity told cllr O'Leary that future maintenance costs are not a planning issue.

Cllr Susan Cocking agreed with cllr O'Leary and said the artwork was 'out of keeping' and would 'spoil' The Esplanade's view.

The two pieces of artwork were approved with eight members of the committee supporting the installations and two against it.