‘Below standard’ Ipswich Cornhill sculptures to be replaced

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Cornhenge, Cornhill, Ipswich

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A sculpture nicknamed Cornhenge did not meet the council’s expected standards

Giant sculptures installed to add a “wow factor” to a £3.6m town centre revamp will be removed and £100,000 spent on safety work, a council said.

The sculpture, nicknamed Cornhenge by locals, was added in December as the finishing touch in the work on the Cornhill in Ipswich.

Now it is set to be removed over concerns about its appearance.

Extra money will be spent on safety work after the death of John Stow, 83, who fell down newly installed steps.

Mr Stow died from his injuries after the fall near the sculptures in January. An inquest into his death has been opened and adjourned.

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The addition of fountains has proved popular with children

Ipswich Borough Council started an investigation and found that it had “complied with relevant standards”.

But it has announced it will take extra measures to improve safety, including designing and installing new railings in the centre of each set of steps, and making the steps stand out from the rest of the paving.

The Cornhill project was started after Lord Stuart Rose, former chairman of Marks and Spencer, commented that the town centre square was looking “shabby“.

Ipswich Vision, a partnership project for the town, said the completed project – which also includes fountains – had given the Cornhill a “wow factor”.

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Ipswich’s footballing heritage is celebrated on one of the plinths, with ex managers Sir Bobby Robson and Sir Alf Ramsey commemorated

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People have been criticial of the finished look of the plinths

However, people had been critical of the finished look of the Cornhenge sculpture, which features plaques highlighting local history.

In a statement, Ipswich Borough Council said: “We continue to acknowledge that the plinths are not up to the standard expected.

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John Stow died after falling from steps on the Cornhill

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Ipswich Borough Council is planning on making the steps easier to see

“Despite efforts by our contractors to improve their finish, it has been concluded that these will need to be completely replaced.”

The replacement should be installed “later in the summer”, the council said.

A spokesman said the new sculpture would not cost the council any money, and the £100,000 for safety repairs, due to be finished by October, would come from the existing budget for the project.

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