New proposal for burger van at Kelpies site submitted

A planning application to set up a new food stall at the Kelpies has been submitted after the original one was controversially forced off the site.
Artist impression of a new food stall at the Kelpies by ADF Architects. Picture: ContributedArtist impression of a new food stall at the Kelpies by ADF Architects. Picture: Contributed
Artist impression of a new food stall at the Kelpies by ADF Architects. Picture: Contributed

Creator of the sculptures, artist Andy Scott, objected to the original Artisan Grill which sat in front of Baron and Duke, deeming it “offensive” earlier this year.

He claimed the fast food cabin, which had been approved by Falkirk Community Trust (FCT) in March, “defiled” his vision and prevented tourists properly viewing the horse statues.

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Falkirk Council’s planning review panel agreed and the outlet was ordered to be removed, but now owners Supreme Fast Foods have put forward new plans in a partially retrospective application for the site.

The design of the stall has been changed to a curved shape to “complement the design of other units adjacent to the Kelpies” using narrow strips of “natural materials” and aluminium facia strips “to reflect the design of the adjoining unit”.

It looks like the name of the stall will also be changed to Skelpies Grill, possibly due to the material (skelps) used on the unit.

A supporting letter with the application states: “It is of importance that the unit is located close to the visitor centre in an area where the public congregate and can sit to admire the front view of the Kelpies.

“The unit is designed as a self contained facility, there is no adverse impact upon existing infrastructure. The facility also provides additional seating and tables for the benefit of visitors to the park.”

It added: “In this context it is also of importance that Falkirk Community Trust have also confirmed that this is the only site available and suitable for the catering unit and that there is no alternative location.”

Mr Scott, who owns the intellectual property rights of the Kelpies and has control over the attraction’s marketing, took umbrage over Artisan Grill labelling it a “tacky concession stand” and that it “jeopardizes the credibility of the artworks”.

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The controversy surfaced after Falkirk Council refused the stall retrospective planning permission after a contract was awarded to the company by Falkirk Community Trust, which runs the site, in March.

The latest supporting letter added: “The catering unit fulfils a tourism function and indeed was invited to take the position offered through the Scottish Government Public Contract website in an advert placed by Falkirk Community Trust.

“Whilst the proposed development has no physical or visual impacts on any areas of the Forth And Clyde or Union Canal it provides additional choice and quality of catering to the benefit of all canal users.”

Supreme Fast Foods also say the stall’s 12 members of staff will be recruited locally.

Mr Scott had threatened legal action over the previous food stall and said he was “delighted” when the council ordered its closure.

Mr Scott did not respond to contact from The Falkirk Herald for comment on this occasion.