PLANS for a 30-metre-high sculpture on the outskirts of a new business park have been slammed as a “two-fingered salute”.

Members of South Marston Parish Council discussed the proposals for the lofty piece of artwork during their latest meeting.

The design, which features two 30-metre-high pylons leaning away from each other in a V formation, is planned for the gateway of the new Symmetry Park - a logistics park in the new Eastern Villages development.

A number of artists were given a brief and asked to submit their ideas for the sculpture, with a panel from independent arts unit Modus Operandi selecting a design by Alex Chinneck which features two electricity pylons.

The judges heralded this as “a new interpretation of this familiar landmark”.

A spokesman for Modus Operandi said: “Designed in galvanized steel at 30 metres tall, the piece is composed as two adjoining pylons in a mirrored, symmetrical arrangement.

"The utilitarian like structure is conceived as a sculptural beacon, to be seen from a distance, as well as from above and aims to emit a powerful presence when the viewer is close to the work.”

In a letter submitted to Swindon Borough Council as part of the planning process the applicant said: “The public art is seen as infrastructure required to mitigate the impact of development. The art will enhance the public realm, provide an intangible benefit to the public. It will also communicate a unique sense of place and site identity.”

But the plans were greeted with derision by the parish council who objected to the plans on grounds of visual amenity.

Chairman Colin McEwen said: “We note that it is designed to be viewed from a distance or from above. In practice it will be seen from close up and from ground level. The installation appears to have no relationship to its location, either in relation to the village or to Swindon.

"It appears to be a two-finger salute to those approaching the borough. Or is it for those leaving?

“Quite seriously, if it is the case that our superfast broadband is at risk because the lack of a location of a mast, then could not a mast be put up incorporated into an artwork?

“The cycle bridge over the railway is in doubt, could this money not be diverted towards a structure of artistic merit?

“We also object on safety and environmental grounds. We also think it could be viewed as challenge to teenagers to climb and a risk to birds and wildlife.

"Additionally, we would wish an assurance on wind noise in relation to neighbouring residences. We request an Environmental Assessment Report.

“We consider this to be a locally controversial application and if it proposed that it be granted then we would wish it to go to the committee.

“We would additionally express our disappointment that no local input has been sought at an earlier stage.”