Published: 8 May 2013
EXCLUSIVE by RICHARD OSLEY
A LIFE-SIZE statue of Amy Winehouse set for Chalk Farm has been approved by Town Hall planners, despite objections from conservationists who claimed it was too soon to honour the singer with the bronze sculpture.
The council's planning department gave full planning consent on for the project on Tuesday. It will see a bronze 'Amy' look down from the balcony at the Roundhouse. The decision came through on Tuesday.
Ms Winehouse, 27, died in July 2011 after drinking vodka following a period of abstinence. She was found at her home in Camden Square, which later became a point of vigil for her legions of fans.
Partly to steer them away from the quiet residential square, the statue was seen by organisers from The Amy Winehouse Foundation and the Roundhouse as a perfect memorial for the Back To Black singer, who had a famous affinity with Camden Town.
The statue, designed by Scott Eaton, is also seen as way of inspiring youngsters who come to the Roundhouse for creative courses. It has also been described as 'destination attraction'.
The Camden Town Conservation Advisory had been the chief objectors during the consultation survey stage.
In its written correspondence, the committee said: "We are concerned that this statue of Amy Winehouse should be proposed so soon after her death... It often takes some time to devise an appropriate and lasting memorial as well as to provide a really suitable venue. We are not necessarily impressed by Scott Eaton's statue and certainly feel that a much better venue could be found. The proposal certainly seems to have far more commercial aims than the simple one of remembering Amy."
The planning files also show a letter of objection during, which said: "Please do not allow the statue of Amy Winehouse to go ahead. I am a huge fan of hers but this is going OTT."
But there was overwhelming support from the Winehouse family and a letter of support from somebody who had seen the proposals and wanted to urge planners to approve them. It said: "I no longer live in London but was born in Camden. I am also an alcoholic and a musician too. Amy was such a talented young woman.I urge you to agree to a statue for Amy as a celebrated artist and to remind young people of how dangerous alcohol can be."
Camden's new cautious approach on new statues honouring the dead apply to the public realm and not private areas like the Roundhouse's balcony. It has been agreed that the statue will not be lit up at night to avoid crowds gathering through the night.