A CONTROVERSIAL two-metre art sculpture likened to something from a '1990s shopping mall' has been approved despite fears it could be 'magnet' for children to climb on - and potentially fall off.

Councillors gave the green light to the large circular structure, which would mark the start and finish of the Bay Cycle Way at Sandy Gap on Walney.

A number of objections were raised at the meeting of the council's planning committee including worries over the sculpture's appearance and potential safety issues.

Objecting to the plan, Walney resident Dr David Haley said: "The structure is very easily climbable by adults and children.

"I would want assurance that adequate facilities are surrounding the structure should somebody fall off it.

"I would think children would immediately assume this is another play item.

"The structure is not fit for purpose.

"Culturally and environmentally it has no connection to the place whatsoever. I think it would be far better fitting to a 1990s shopping mall or perhaps the promenade at Morecambe."

The 80-mile Bay Cycle Way, which stretches between Walney and Glasson Dock near Lancaster, was established in 2015.

Another structure would be placed at the other end of the cycleway.

Maddi Nicholson, the director of Barrow arts group Art Gene, said the community 'deserves better'.

"We're England's number one borough for it's natural coastal assets," she said.

"Let's pause this application and put in place the coordinated plan that Walney and Barrow deserves, that retains and develops this area for future generations.

"We the community deserve the very best not the mediocre."

Councillor Les Hall was the only planning committee member to vote against the plan.

He said: "I've got young children.

"That 10ft wheel will be magnet for kids to climb on and I don't see how you can keep it safe."