Plans were filed with the Planning Department of Sunderland City Council in October for Hetton Lyons Country Park for a new ‘heritage locomotive artwork’ made from weather-resistant Corten steel and designed by Ray Lonsdale, the artist behind the Tommy de Seaham statue.
The Friends of Hetton Lyons Country Park request is part of plans to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Hetton Colliery Railway next year.
A number of activities and events are planned for 2022 as part of a city-wide celebration of Hetton Colliery and the famous railway line, which was designed by George Stephenson and used to transport coal.
After reviewing the planning application, the Planning Department of Sunderland City Council approved it on Wednesday 15 December.
A decision report prepared by the planners read: “The artwork would be installed alongside a busy trail in the public park and provide a visual reminder of the region’s mining and rail heritage.
“It is considered that the character and appearance of the proposed artwork would be of an appropriate design, scale and massing and complementary to the setting of the park. “
The report goes on to say: “The plaintiff confirmed that the artwork will consist of two identical images of locomotive and tender, three meters high, five meters long and with a deviation of 300 mm between the two.
“The artwork will be mounted on steel poles and rest on a concrete base.
“In terms of color, the work will be similar in appearance to the mining statue of Hetton, Tommy in Seaham and the sculpture of Vaux Dray commissioned by Sunderland City Council.”
A statement from the Friends of Hetton Lyons Country Park in the planning application also sets out the next steps planned for the heritage locomotive artwork.
It reads: “The Friends of Hetton Lyons Country Park have provided funding for this project which will be part of a town-wide celebration of Hetton Colliery and the famous Stephenson Railway from Hetton to the staiths of Sunderland.
“The artwork will be visible to visitors to the country parks and those following the Stephenson Trail.
“Once completed, the artwork will be adopted by Sunderland City Council.”
For more information on the work, visit the Sunderland City Council online planning portal and search for reference: 21/02417 / FUL