PLANS to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee with a sculpture by an internationally-renowned artist received a major boost this week.

Members of a Malvern Hills District Council’s southern area planning committee voted unanimously to approve the sculpture depicting two buzzards, birds that are associated with the Malvern Hills, in Rose Bank Gardens at a meeting on Wednesday.

The sculpture plan is the brainchild of Peter Smith, of Worcester Road, who has been lobbying for it for a number of years. It has been designed by artist Walenty Pytel – one of the leading animal and bird sculptors in the world.

Among his works is a fountain with heraldic beasts outside the House of Commons, which was commissioned by Parliament for the Queen’s golden jubilee.

Mr Smith put forward the idea about five years ago, and has been searching for funding ever since.

He has now secured the sum of £15,000 from Malvern Town Council, which is now leading the project, Malvern Hills District Council and private sponsors.

Mr Smith said yesterday he was delighted that it has won planning approval.

He said: “This is a real coup for Malvern and I have received nothing but enthusiastic support from locals and visitors alike and across the whole age range, including children. This is something the people of Malvern can be proud of, permanently marking the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth.”

The approval was proposed by Coun Roger Hall-Jones and seconded by Coun Hannah Campbell, who said: “We should thank Peter Smith for all the effort he has put in over the years on this project.”

Mr Smith said the sculpture could be made and installed by autumn next year.