THE life of the great British astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle is to be commemorated with a plaque in Bournemouth – months after the council said it couldn’t afford it.

Plans for a Blue Plaque at the former home of the astrophysicist in Admiral’s Walk in West Cliff, Bournemouth, were put on hold earlier this year after a request by Cllr Ron Cooper for it to be put up during 2009, the Year of Astronomy.

A number of problems including budget difficulties in the planning and transport service unit meant the ceremony was unable to go ahead and the proposal was put on the back burner.

But in an apparent turnaround, on Thursday the mayor of Bournemouth, Cllr Beryl Baxter will unveil the plaque in honour of the man who invented the term “Big Bang”.

Sir Fred Hoyle first used the term on BBC radio show The Nature of Things in 1949, although he himself did not subscribe to the idea.

Described as one of the most significant figures in British astronomy, his landmark 1957 work was on how heavier elements form within stars, leading to him becoming well-known as a popular science author.

After growing up in Yorkshire he retired to Bournemouth and died in 2001, aged 86.

Cllr Robert Lawton, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “Work commenced on this blue plaque some years ago but there were at the time some difficulties with obtaining the agreement of the family on a suitable location, as well as some building work.

“These combined with the overall budget review caused a delay.

“However, we are now pleased that we are able to commemorate Sir Fred Hoyle with a blue plaque, especially during the Year of Astronomy.

“He was one of the most significant figures in British astronomy and it is a privilege that he chose Bournemouth as a place to live.”