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Elephant gets the all-clear

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Designs for a statue of an elephant in Cannock town centre as a replacement for one wrecked by vandals have been waved through. Granite will be used to make the replacement after the original glass fibre version was destroyed.

Designs for a statue of an elephant in Cannock town centre as a replacement for one wrecked by vandals have been waved through. Granite will be used to make the replacement after the original glass fibre version was destroyed.

Planning officers at Cannock Chase Council used delegated powers to grant permission for it on land outside Yorkshire Bank and Thomson travel agent in Market Place. It meant the plans did not have to go before councillors to be debated and work can now start as soon as possible.

Chase Art for Public Spaces (CHAPS) stepped in and submitted the planning application after dismay was voiced in the town when the landmark had to be removed in late 2006.

It had been damaged beyond repair and its subsequent disappearance from the town led to shoppers calling for a replacement to be put in place.

CHAPS chairman Cannock Chase MP Tony Wright said the fact plans had now been granted permission was a positive sign and was at a significant stage.

Chase Academy school in St John's Road, Cannock, has provided the majority of funding for the statue after being keen to see the statue brought back.

School principal Mark Ellse said: "We are happy to see the elephant being brought back to Cannock town centre and want to see it in the best possible place in the town centre.

"These things take time to get in place but we are making a significant contribution towards it."

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It is thought the statue was presented to the council by WH Smith Do-It-All in 1989.

It had been a popular meeting place in the pedestrianised town centre over the years and young children were often seen climbing onto it.

The CHAPS group has been instrumental in providing eye-catching pieces in the district.

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