Kelpies creator says rejection of his 16ft bear statue is “weird”

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THE Scots sculptor who created the Kelpies has described as “weird” the rejection of his latest plan – for a 16ft-high bear.

Andy Scott wanted to build the giant bear next to the A1 near Dunbar, East Lothian, in honour of legendary conservationist John Muir.

But the plan has been rejected by councillors who reckon Andy’s bear would look like it was advertising a safari park.

Planners at East Lothian Council are also concerned the giant, galvanised steel ursine would interfere with safety on the A1.

Andy, who was unaware that the plans had been dropped, said today: “That’s weird, I didn’t know that.

 

The latest plan has been rejected

 

“It’s interesting because all my other art works around the country are beside roads.”

Andy’s giant horses – next to the M9 in Falkirk – have become a sensation since they were unveiled, drawing thousands of visitors annually.

But a spokeswoman for East Lothian Council confirmed they had rejected his plans for a bear.

She said: “The siting of the proposed sculpture, mound and footpaths could result in inappropriate parking which would interfere with the safety and free flow of traffic from the A1 trunk road.”

The plans split the town’s community council at last month’s meeting. Councillors Pippa Swan and Sue Anderson questioned the scheme, and called the proposed location “bizarre”.

Mrs Swan, who is also chairwoman of Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership, said: “For me it is a bizarre proposal and it looks like an advertisement for a safari park.”

 

Andy Scott

 

Mrs Anderson also shared concerns about the bear being the wrong idea in the wrong place.

She added: “I cannot believe there has been so little discussion between the developer, the community council and the community.”

Developer Ken Ross, from Hallhill Developments Limited, which is behind the proposed sculpture, described the rejection as “ludicrous” and had hoped to address the issues raised by Transport Scotland.

He said: “What I am more disappointed with is having engaged with the council, they agreed they would continue the application to allow further discussions on the matters being raised by Transport Scotland.”

However, not all councillors are against the scheme. Herbert Coutts was more positive about the sculpture and highlighted the impact that the Kelpies have had.

He said: “I know at the time the Kelpies were being proposed there was a lot of opposition to that but now they are being recognised as being icons for Scotland. I drive along that road very regularly and look forward to seeing them.”

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