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'Carbuncle' town statue approved

25 September 09 15:27 GMT

Planning permission has been granted for a £250,000 sculpture to promote one of Scotland's most maligned towns.

The 10m (33ft) steel structure, of a female form incorporating two large swooping arcs, will overlook the A80 at Cumbernauld in North Lanarkshire.

The town is a former "winner" of the infamous Carbuncle award as the most dismal place to stay in Scotland.

The sculpture will be created by Andy Scott who also produced the M8 Heavy Horse and Falkirk Helix Water Kelpies.

It was commissioned by Campsies Centre Cumbernauld Ltd (CCCL) - a company established by North Lanarkshire Council to facilitate the redevelopment of Cumbernauld.

Local pride

Councillor Gerry McElroy, chairman of CCCL, said: "We are delighted with the decision and work now begins in earnest.

"The board will continue to work with Andy Scott to turn his design into a reality and create an iconic landmark for Cumbernauld.

"We will ensure the Cumbernauld community are informed at every step of the way as we work towards a structure local people can be proud of."

Andy Scott said he was pleased he could finally begin work on a project to revitalise Cumbernauld's image.

"We now begin finalising the designs and starting the fabrication process, and I can't wait to finally get my sleeves rolled up and move ahead with this commission," he said.

Earlier this year two SNP councillors resigned from CCL claiming the sculpture was an attempt to "camouflage rather than develop" Cumbernauld town centre.

One of them, Councillor Willie Homer, said he had no objections to the statue being built, but was disappointed with the chosen location.

He added: "Clouds remain over the whole decision-making and planning process surrounding where this icon was sited.

"The sculpture should be located where the people of Cumbernauld can take pride in it, and should be part of an overall regeneration of the town centre."

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