Silica bird flu fears

PUBLISHED: 06:28 30 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:04 24 May 2010

Cllr Bob Coleman

Cllr Bob Coleman

CONCERNS over whether a towering piece of public art could aid the spread of bird flu in Weston have been dismissed. North Somerset councillor Bob Coleman

CONCERNS over whether a towering piece of public art could aid the spread of bird flu in Weston have been dismissed.North Somerset councillor Bob Coleman believes the 26m high spire called Silica, which is destined for Weston's Big Lamp Corner, could become a roosting hotspot for birds infected with the HN51 virus.At a full council meeting this week, Cllr Coleman said he feared birds using the artwork as a perch could spread the virus into the surrounding town centre cafes and restaurants.He asked the council's executive member for strategic planning, Cllr John Crockford-Hawley, to scrap plans to build Silica this summer in the wake of a possible bird flu outbreak.Cllr Crockford-Hawley said: "Silica has been specifically designed so there are no perches on it, so it will not attract birds."Several councillors said residents who feed birds in the town centre were more likely to attract infected birds than a piece of public art.The 26m high illuminated glass spire will be lit by fibre optics and will contain an information kiosk and bus shelter.

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