Devon council tells man to take down replica Star Wars AT-ST scout walker

Ben Arnold
The AT-ST on the A38 (Credit: Instagram)

A Devon man has been told to take down a 14-foot replica of a Star Wars scout walker, because it could distract drivers.

Paul Parker has the AT-ST attack vehicle, seen in several of the Star Wars movies, on his land by the A38 at Ashburton.

However, Teignbridge Council has now told him that he will have to remove it.

Mr Parker was given the impressive replica by a friend, its creator Dean Harvey, who had originally made it as a climbing frame, den and swing set for his daughters four years ago.

The model cost around £4000 and took some 400 hours to make.

Mr Parker, who runs a storage business and is a member of the Ashburton Chamber of Trade, was hoping that it could become a tourist attraction and ‘create interest’ in the town.

“I can understand it, I haven’t got planning permission, so I have got to put a retrospective planning application in for it,” he told the BBC.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the comments have been positive, but obviously you have people that don’t like it – you can’t please everybody all the time.

“Stonehenge is at the side of the road, is that a distraction? The Wickerman in Somerset – is that a distraction?”

“It’s a bit of fun. I wanted to do something that would create interest in Ashburton and maybe help get people to visit. It’s been a talking point in the two weeks it’s been up,” he added to Devon Live.

“It’s not doing any harm from what I can see but the council says it’s a fixed structure and it doesn’t have planning permission.

“I’m going to fight it. I’ll put in a retrospective planning application and if that fails I’ll make it mobile by putting wheels on it and moving it around.”

A spokesperson for Teignbridge District Council told i News: “We’ve checked with our planning senators and it appears that something may have been lost in translation through our communication with Mr Parker.

“The enforcement notice is not strong with this and has definitely not been issued. However, we have given written advice on options available to Mr Parker.”

The AT-ST, or ‘scout walker’ as its casually known, first appeared in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, but had more of a starring role in Return of the Jedi, where the Empire used them extensively in its ground battle on the forest moon of Endor.

They also featured in 2016’s Rogue One.

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