A widower grieving the death of his late wife erected a 9-foot tall crucifix in her memory last summer. The only problem: the crucifix was erected on public land.
ITV reports that things are looking up for Peter Nelson, 49, who memorialized his wife Angela on the top of the Slag Banks in Workington, England. Officers at the Allerdale Borough Council are planning to provide Nelson with a "retrospective planning permission" to keep the religious symbol there despite the chagrin of the Workington Town Council.
The memorial contains Angela's ashes, which have been cemented into a stone seat.
When Nelson originally erected the crucifix, he was told to remove it by the Cumbria County Council that owns the land.
However, almost 1,800 people have signed a petition in support of Nelson and many of the local churches have lobbied to keep the memorial. In light of the outpouring of support, Nelson has refused to remove it.
The resolution that was submitted to the councilmembers on Allerdale's development panel decided once and for all whether or not the memorial stays. It says: "The proposal is considered appropriate for the locality and satisfies current planning policy. The application is recommended for approval."
The council convened on March 3 and came to the conclusion that the cross could stay only if Nelson could provide a formal notification to the council of its erection.
Nelson was understandably happy after the meeting.
"I'm pleased I was given permission, but we're not out of the water yet," he said, according to The Times and Star UK. "We've won the battle but we have not won the war. I don't know what the county council will do. But I do know the people of Workington have taken the cross to their hearts."
The structure was approved after it was decided that the cross did not "adversely affect the area, did not obstruct public right of way and was not in a sensitive location," according to The Times And Star UK.
"I didn't mean to cause anyone offence[sic]," he added. "I don't believe I was in a good place emotionally.
"You could say I've pulled a bit of a Banksy," he continued. "I was blinkered and a job to do and for some reason I had to put a cross there."