Robin Hood statue could change Nottingham's skyline
Nottingham businessman James Mellors hopes to build a 100m high Robin Hood statue near the city. His dream is for the legend to dominate the skyline, and give Nottingham's tourism industry a welcome boost. MARCUS BOOCOCK reports
ROBIN Hood has long been a larger than life character in Nottingham.
What the 100m high Robin Hood statue could look like
And the legendary hero could soon be honoured in a way that lives up to that – in the form of an enormous statue towering over the city.
The idea is the brainchild of James Mellors, managing director of the Mellors Group.
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He hopes the ambitious plan which will help make the Robin Hood story – and Nottingham itself – even more famous around the world.
The 100m-high structure would have lifts going up one of the 'legs' to a viewing area which would include a restaurant.
Visitors would be able to get a further lift up to the 'head', where there would be a another viewing area.
There would also be a gift shop at ground level by the entrance.
Mr Mellors has identified three sites for the statue – Colwick Woods, Victoria Embankment and near Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station.
He believes it could quadruple tourism to the city and lead to more jobs.
He said: "Tourism is the biggest trade in the world because of all the spin off jobs it creates.
"By doing this, we would be making the most of the city's heritage.
"I think people hold off a bit, saying Robin Hood is fictional. So are Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck but that hasn't stopped the Americans.
"I'm sick to death of everything being given to London for tourism. We want our share up here.
Mr Mellors believes the statue could be built in seven or eight years.
Greg Sadler, from Apple Design Consultants in Nottingham, came up with the design.
He said: "It is only a concept at this stage, but it is something which could really become an exciting project.
"I believe it would really boost tourism to the city."
Mr Mellors called on Notts MPs to work together to try to get the Government to give money for the scheme.
Nottingham North MP Graham Allen has given his support. He said: "Unless we start exploiting Robin Hood we risk Leicester and Derby leaving us behind.
"Both of those would kill for the global phenomenon we have."
Hilary Silvester, vice-president of the Nottingham Civic Society, warned the location of any statue would have to be carefully considered.
She said: "I think it is a bit too overbearing. The best place for a structure like this would be just outside of the city somewhere."
Nottingham City Council is seeking to set up a charity to develop a major Robin Hood attraction.
Coun Graham Chapman, the council's deputy leader, said the statue project was one the trust would be interested in.
A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said there were no general limits on how tall buildings near airports could be, but that they were looked at on a case-by-case basis.
He said most planning problems came when developers were looking to build in line with airport runways.
Nottingham City Council also looks at cases individually, and has guidelines for building heights in the city centre.
Buildings near Old Market Square are generally not permitted to be taller than five storeys.
But to the south of the city centre they can reach up to 15 storeys.