A GIANT statue of a bear could yet be built on the outskirts of Dunbar, despite plans having been turned down.

Earlier this summer, East Lothian Council officials refused planning permission for the 16-foot statue, which would have stood to the east of the Spott roundabout, visible from the A1.

The bear – which was chosen as a symbol of the wild and Dunbar-born conservationist John Muir’s worldwide achievements – would have been created by Andy Scott, the artist behind the famous Kelpies horse-head sculptures, near Falkirk.

Local authority planning officials dismissed the proposals in June, pointing to the potential impact the statue would have on road safety on the nearby A1.

However, there is still a requirement for Hallhill Developments Limited, which is behind the proposal, to provide artwork as part of the conditions for building housing in the town.

Ken Ross, from the developer, confirmed they would be looking to challenge the decision by taking the issue to another council committee.

He said: “We have intimated that we would like to make a presentation to the local review body – that is our intention. I have talked with Andy Scott and our architects and we are awaiting a date.

“One of the reasons for refusal is, as far as I am concerned, ludicrous.

“Are we trying to suggest that somebody is doing to stop on the A1 to go and have a look at something?”

Hallhill Developments Limited, which has been involved in the construction of more than 500 homes in the south of Dunbar, selected the design.

It was chosen as a tribute to world-famous conservationist John Muir, who was born in Dunbar in 1838 before emigrating with his family to the USA and playing a lead role in the formation of the country’s national park system.

The statue would have been created through the Percent for Art Scheme, 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.

It was hoped the bear would have a similar impact to The Kelpies, which has become an iconic piece of artwork, and viewed by people from all over the world.

The future of the bear, which would have been 16-foot tall, was discussed by the town’s community council at their meeting last month.

Herbert Coutts, community councillor, asked if discussions had taken place to see the bear potentially sited at another location.

Previously, the community council made the suggestion of the bear being situated in Winterfield Park, near the start of the John Muir Way.

But that location was ruled out, with the developer preferring the idea of the animal being near the A1.

Mr Coutts added: “If it is the case he cannot install it where he originally intended, might we come back to alternative locations?”

Councillor Norman Hampshire was unsure if other locations were still be considered.

He said: “I think he will want it on his own land. It might be somewhere on the industrial site, further away from the A1.

“I think that is probably more likely what he would do.”