Ipswich's new look Christmas 'tree' sparks debate

The new look Christmas tree and lights in Ipswich
Image caption The 41 spheres are the centre piece of the new Christmas lights in Ipswich

A structure of spheres which replaced a real Christmas tree in Ipswich has been described as a "waste of money" and "something from The Clangers".

The tree on the Cornhill is the centre piece of new festive decorations in the town centre which cost £100,000.

Some people have welcomed the change and praised Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Central for trying something different.

Ipswich resident Toni Vincent-Panich said it was "contemporary and stylish".

The structure is made up of 41 aluminium spheres and features more than 40,000 LED lights. It was designed and installed by Blachere Illumination.

Image caption Ipswich Central said the tree would attract people to the town

A debate started on the Facebook page of BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy, with those against saying it was "naff", "utter rubbish", like "a giant dandelion plant" and "something my boy made out of play dough".

Karl Robbins said: "It is as near to a Christmas tree as a bacon sandwich is to an apple."

Jacqueline Rawlinson, however, said: "It's original - they dared to be different and it worked. Well done Ipswich."

"The whole town looks amazing," said Christine Norton Upson. "The tree is far better than the poor excuse for a tree we normally have."

About 250,000 low energy bulbs are used in the town centre decorations.

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, said: "Having these new decorations, and particularly the tree, is an important part of our vision for the town - to give people additional reasons to visit and appreciate just what Ipswich has to offer."

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