Llanwern site planned for Newport's Festival Clock
COULD Llanwern be the final resting place of the much loved and iconic Newport Festival Clock?
Proposals are in with Newport Council 's planning department for the clock to be erected on a roundabout on the Queensway road, near the new Glan Llyn development.
However the planning application suggests the clock would not be the spectacle that crowds used to flock to before it was removed from the city centre..
A document filed with the application said the clock would be positioned on the former access roundabout for the steelworks.
It would not open "thus removing any distraction to drivers," the document said, but the clock faces on both sides would operate.
"The clock is to be sited in an area of change and will reflect the evolving character of the area," the document read.
Last year a campaign was mounted to oppose plans to scrap the Festival Clock, but in the end the council continued to keep it in storage at the cost of £8,000 a year.
Martyn Kellaway, Conservative city councillor for Llanwern, hadn't seen the plans, asked why a "broken clock" would be placed at Glan Llyn.
He said the clock has been fascinating to watch: "Why not keep it in Newport to form part of that area they are trying to develop?"
But Allan Morris, Labour Lliswerry city councillor, welcomed the proposal: "I would rather see it enjoyed than see it chucked in a cupboard."
Charles Ferris, Conservative city councillor for Allt-Yr-Yn, said: "It think its a good idea. It was costing them a lot of money to keep it in storage.."
Originally commissioned to represent Newport at the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival in 1992, the extraordinary clock delighted on lookers with characters popping out of it every hour.
It later found a home in John Frost Square but was removed and went into storage in 2006 for the city centre redevelopment.
Queensway is currently being upgraded by the Welsh Government into the dual carriageway Eastern Distributor Road to link to the M4.
The planning application will be decided by officers in the coming weeks.
A senior Labour councillor said he is dubious that the clock can be fully repaired to its original state.
Ken Critchley, cabinet member for infrastructure, said the council is seriously considering placing the clock on the roundabout as an option for its future.
It is thought it needs at least £50,000 in repairs.
Cllr Critchley, is responsible for the Streetscene department that has made the planning application, said: "Many of the parts have eroded and there's a high maintenance cost of that type of assembly."
Asked when the clock could be re-erected, he said much of that rests with the partners involved, such as Glan Llyn developer St Modwen and the Welsh Government.
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