An eight-metre tall statue of a heron could be placed on a patch of concrete in Castletown.

Castletown Town Commissioners has submitted a planning application to site the 26ft tall sculpture at the town’s harbour.

Created by renowned international artists Stephanie Quayle and Darren Jackson, the heron would act as a focal point on the ‘Silverburn Art Trail’ which is currently in development.

If approved the statue would sit on a freestanding base on a disused concrete foundation in Castletown harbour.

Unveiling plans for the work, a spokesperson for Castletown Town Commissioners said: ‘We are pleased to have been able to assist the artistic community in making the planning application in an attempt to realise their vision.’

The Silverburn Art Trail is a project currently under development by a group of Isle of Man artists known as the Creative Network.

According to the group the trail will take in some of the ‘cultural gems of the south of the island’, once its finished.

A statement on the group’s website said that the path will ‘feature a range of art works in eclectic styles, from street art in Castletown, to sculptural pieces in the countryside, and ephemeral pieces made from natural materials which will disappear over time.

‘Creative Network member artists and guests will develop site specific work, both temporary and permanent, to develop a dynamic outdoor art experience, adding to the story of our island and its history, culture and heritage.’

‘The trail has been generously supported by The Manx Lottery Community Fund and the Year of our Island Fund allowing for more permanent artworks to be made and signage to be added.’

The trail will follow the first stretch of the Bayr Ny Skeddan (Herring Way) along the Silverburn river from Castletown, through Ballasalla and on to Silverdale Glen.

Part of the planning application for the sculpture states: ‘DOl [Department for Infrastructure] Harbours, DOl Highways and ourselves [commissioners] have all had input in the planning of this project and are all hugely supportive of it.’

Castletown Commissioners issued a statement online about the application after the scheme attracted criticism.

The statement read: ‘An application has been submitted to display a significant art installation at the inner harbour.

‘The Commissioners often assist community groups and we are pleased to have been able to assist the artistic community in making the planning application in an attempt to realise their vision.

‘For clarification and contrary to comment in closed social media groups, no ratepayers funds beyond limited officer time have been spent on the creation or will be spent on installation of the project.’