Yoxman Statue Lighting Plan Approved Despite Distracted Motorist Worries

Yoxman Statue Lighting Plan Approved Despite Distracted Motorist Worries

Controversy Surrounds Nighttime Lighting for “Yoxman” Statue

The decision to illuminate a colossal statue of a naked man at night has received approval, despite concerns from both a bestselling author and local residents that it may distract passing motorists.

The 26-foot-high statue, known as “Yoxman,” has already raised safety issues among some locals due to drivers gazing at it while driving past.

Yoxman’s Unconventional Presence

Installed in November 2021 near Cockfield Hall, the Yoxman is described as East Anglia’s response to “The Angel of the North.”

It is one of the largest bronze sculptures in the UK, nestled within the grounds of the 16th-century Cockfield Hall alongside the A12 road in Yoxford, Suffolk.

Initial Objections and Safety Concerns

Initially, the local parish council objected to the installation of three ground-level soft LED floodlights designed to illuminate the statue.

They argued that this would create a potential safety hazard for nighttime motorists, particularly because the statue is located near a bend on a 40mph limit road.

A Change of Heart and Lighting Proposal

However, the parish council eventually reconsidered its objection. This change of heart came after lighting consultants submitted a report stating that the emitted light would fall within acceptable limits.

Laurence Edwards, the creator of the Yoxman, played a pivotal role in this shift by emphasizing his desire for a nuanced and artistically designed lighting scheme.

Subtle and Artistically Designed Lighting

Laurence Edwards envisioned the lighting as a way to give the impression that the sculpture had absorbed light and heat during the day, emitting it gradually in the early evening.

The lighting was designed to create a subtle glow, avoiding harsh, blinding light that could disrupt the night environment.

Council’s Approval with Conditions

East Suffolk Council approved the lighting plans with the condition that the lights should be turned off between 11 pm and dusk.

Planning officer Iain Robertson stated that the proposals would not interfere with the surrounding natural parkland’s darkness or harm the significance of listed buildings.

Author and Environmental Concerns

Author and critic Olivia Laing, a resident of Yoxford, had voiced her objection to the nighttime lighting, citing the statue’s daytime impact on traffic as a hazard.

She also expressed concerns about light pollution and its ecological impact on nocturnal wildlife.

The Yoxman as a Local Attraction

Described by the Wilderness Reserve as a local tourist attraction, the Yoxman stands just 95 meters from the A12 road. It was inspired by the bogs and woodlands of the east Suffolk coast.

Environmental Considerations and Visitor Impact

The lighting is planned to be activated automatically at dusk through a solar-tracking time clock. Proponents of the lighting project argue that it will provide subtle and evenly spread illumination across the statue while minimizing light pollution.

Mixed Reactions and Impact on the Village

The Yoxman statue has generated diverse opinions among locals and visitors. While some have praised it as a brilliant addition to the landscape, others have described it as a grotesque monstrosity.

The statue’s presence has drawn more visitors to the village, contributing to the local tourism appeal.

The Creator and the Luxury Estate

The Yoxman statue was created by Laurence Edwards and stands in the grounds of Cockfield Hall, which is part of the Wilderness Reserve luxury holiday retreat owned by property billionaire Jon Hunt.

The estate offers luxury country houses and cottages for staycations on its 8,000-acre estate near the Suffolk coast. Celebrities like comedian Jack Whitehall and the cast of Made in Chelsea have been among the visitors to this estate.

Jon Hunt was listed as one of the UK’s richest individuals, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Varied Reactions on Social Media

On social media platforms, people have shared contrasting opinions about the Yoxman statue and its location. Some see it as a unique and artistic addition, while others use humor to comment on its peculiar aspects.

In conclusion, the controversial Yoxman statue has continued to provoke discussion, especially with the approval of nighttime lighting.

Concerns about safety, environmental impact, and aesthetics have led to a complex blend of opinions from various quarters, making it a topic of ongoing debate.

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