Star Wars AT-ST given 'Luke'-warm reception by council who advise its removal

image captionThe replica stands 4.5m tall and took Dean Harvey 400 hours to build it

A man who installed a 4.5m (14ft) tall replica of a Star Wars attack vehicle by the roadside has been warned by the council he has 21 days to remove it.

Rather than the Rebel Alliance, it is Teignbridge Council that wants Paul Parker to remove the AT-ST in Devon.

Mr Parker said he had hoped it would become a tourist attraction by the A38 and added: "We wanted to try and raise awareness for Ashburton".

The council said after 21 days it would send an official enforcement letter.

Creator Dean Harvey - who said he was not a Star Wars fan - originally built the replica four years ago as a climbing frame for his daughters.

He said it took him more than 400 hours to make, but now that his daughters were older, he had decided to give it to Mr Parker.

'Can't please everybody'

Mr Parker - who owns the field the AT-ST is now installed in - said it was harmless, and explained local businesses had published a naked calendar in the past and were now "trying to find something else" to do to raise Ashburton's profile.

He said he was expecting to be contacted by the council though and continued: "I can understand it, I haven't got planning permission, so I have got to put a retrospective planning application in for it.

media captionAshburton AT-ST attacked by Teignbridge Council

"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."

Mr Parker said he hoped the council would allow it to remain and denied claims the structure might be a distraction for drivers.

"Stonehenge is at the side of the road, is that a distraction? The Wickerman in Somerset - is that a distraction?"

Teignbridge Council said it had written to Mr Parker to explain the options available to him and that unless action was taken to remove it, he would be issued with an official enforcement letter ordering its removal.

Like the Rebel Alliance, Mr Parker said he had not given up hope.

What is an AT-ST?

According to Wookieepedia, the "All Terrain Scout Transport" is a "lightweight, bipedal walker used by the ground forces of the Galactic Empire.

They're equipped with two chin-mounted MS-4 twin blaster canons capable of firing at a range of 2km.

AT-STs contained a two-person crew, protected by reinforced armour plates.

They first appeared in 1980's Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, but have since featured in many Star Wars titles, including Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016).

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