Poll: Would you like to see chicken statues brought to ‘chicken roundabout’?

Cockerels when there were on chicken roundabout, Ditchingham.

Cockerels when there were on chicken roundabout, Ditchingham. - Credit: ECN

A plan to pay tribute to a roundabout that captured the nation's imagination has been dealt a blow.

A group has been campaigning for small statues to be put on 'chicken roundabout', in Ditchingham, near Bungay, in honour of its past, but the parish council has not given it their backing.

It has left the 550-plus member-group 'very disappointed' and they are now considering their next move as they look to create a 'Chicken of the East'.

The online group wants to find a way to pay tribute to the chickens which famously used to live at the junction of A143 with Norwich Road.

They settled on an idea of installing small metal silhouettes in the middle of the roundabout. But Ditchingham Parish Council has decided not to support them as they say they could present a safety hazard and the council has a policy to 'discourage clutter on the roundabout'.

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A spokesman said: 'This policy has previously been applied to both unauthorised advertising, and to the more recent 'authorised' advertising supported by Norfolk County Council.

'More fundamentally, and following a site survey, Ditchingham Parish Council planning and highways advisory committee considered that statues could present a safety hazard resulting in injury.'

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Didy Ward, of Flixton Road, Bungay, said the group was very disappointed and angry at the decision, but vowed to continue.

She said: 'The next stage for the group, as there has been so much support for this idea, is for us to form a committee to see who else we can talk to and see who else can support us, because basically it is a brilliant idea.' She also questioned whether they would be a safety hazard and a distraction to drivers.

'We need to do all we can to attract visitors and I think having some lovely chicken statues on 'chicken roundabout' would delight visitors,' she said.

The roundabout, near Ditchingham Maltings, caused interest nationwide with chickens living near the Norfolk and Suffolk border for more than 50 years, even sparking the idea for a board game in their honour.

There was a split locally as to whether their presence was good or bad, and in 2010 the final live chickens were moved to a hen sanctuary.

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