PLANS for a 20ft-tall sculpture of a bear, to be sited near the A1 at Dunbar and created by the artist behind the world-famous Kelpies, are expected to be lodged in the coming weeks.
Andy Scott, who designed the Kelpies, near Falkirk (pictured below), has been tasked with creating the work of art, which could sit to the east of Dunbar’s McDonald’s restaurant.
Ken Ross of RDR Limited, which has been involved with the housing expansion in the Hallhill area of Dunbar for a number of years, told the Courier there had already been discussions with both East Lothian Council and Dunbar Community Council about the location of the artwork.
He said: “We have commissioned Andy Scott, who did the Kelpies, to undertake something and it is in preparation just now. There will shortly be a planning application submitted.”
Mr Ross has been involved with Dunbar for more than two decades through the Hallhill development to the south of the East Coast Main Line, which passes through the town.
He said: “We asked the sculptor himself for some ideas and what did come up was the idea that John Muir was born in Dunbar and, because of his activities, the National Parks in America were created.
“As a result of that, the bear was helped to be safeguarded and to prosper in the world.
“Through that association with John Muir and his ethos and what he endeavoured to bring to the world at large, we thought it should be celebrated.”
The metal bear will sit on top of a plinth and could measure around five to six metres – or up to nearly 20 feet – in height.
Mr Ross, who has worked with Mr Scott on a number of previous projects, added: “We are quite excited about this. It will be a landmark in the area and something that people will enjoy.”
The statue would be created through the Percent for Art Scheme, which is a condition of planning consent.
Developers have to allocate a percentage of their capital spend to fund public artworks and involve an artist in any building project as early as possible.
The developer also has to submit a proposal to the local authority to ensure its quality and suitability.
Currently, the cost of the project has not been made public.
Five members of the community council met with Mr Ross recently and discussed the proposed statue.
Among them was George Robertson, the group’s vice-chairman, who felt there would be little reason for objection and highlighted the popularity of The Kelpies, which are near the M9.
It is understood an area for car parking could be created to enable people to get close to the statue.
Any decision on the proposed statue would likely come from East Lothian Council’s planning committee.
Work at Hallhill has been ongoing for almost two decades and has included hundreds of new houses, as well as the Hallhill Sports Centre. Mr Ross highlighted hundreds of jobs had been created in the area through the developments.