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Horse landmark gallops ahead

PUBLISHED: 16:50 21 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:38 23 August 2010

AN IMPASSIONED speech from renowned artist Mark Wallinger helped convince councillors to approve construction of a 50 metre tall White Horse at Springhead. The iconic landmark, which will cost about £2 million in private investment by company Land Securi

AN IMPASSIONED speech from renowned artist Mark Wallinger helped convince councillors to approve construction of a 50 metre tall White Horse at Springhead.

The iconic landmark, which will cost about £2 million in private investment by company Land Securities, was given the go ahead at a regulatory board meeting.

Mr Wallinger's design was picked from a list of five options early last year and the artist was at the meeting to defend his creation.

He said: "We have an appreciation for the beauty of a horse that is hard wired into us and with the thoroughbred we had a hand in its creation giving it an appeal that cuts across all kinds of boundaries."

Mr Wallinger pointed to the Roman road at Springhead and its importance as "the route into the country for a millennia" as well as the Jutes under Hengist and Horsa bringing the white horse banner to North Kent in the fifth century AD, a symbol under which the combined armies of the men of Kent and Kentish men repealed William the Conqueror in 1067.

While resident Martin Harris argued the model should be an Invicta - the rearing white horse used by Kent County Council - rather than a standing horse, councillors agreed that a landmark of public art would bring prosperity and identity to the area and voted in favour of the proposal.

michael.adkins@archant.co.uk

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