Support for Kinghorn blacksmith to save his flag-bearer sculpture

Andy Davies and employee Chris Brown with the flag-bearer sculpture. Pic:  Fife Photo Agency
Andy Davies and employee Chris Brown with the flag-bearer sculpture. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

A Kinghorn businessman who has been ordered to take down his flag-bearing sculpture has received support from the local community to save his steel statue.

Andy Davies, who owns Archway Metals, put up his Saltire-bearing figure, which has no planning permission, on the rooftop of his business a few weeks ago.

But after a single complaint was made about it to the local authority, Fife Council investigated and Mr Davies was then asked to take it down.

However, the patriotic blacksmith has the backing of locals after more than 2279 people signed a petition demanding the popular statue remain.

Andy said he now intends to submit a planning application in the hope that the local authority will give his flag-bearer the thumbs up.

He told the Press: “We got a letter from the council saying we had 28 days to remove it because one person had objected. They said it was on the edge of a conservation area.

“We have now asked for planning advice which gives us a stay of execution for 28 days and once we get the information of what is required for a planning application I will submit one.

“There is an online petition which has been set up to keep the sculpture and it has over 2000 signatures and it is great to have that support.

“People have left a lot of nice comments, so it is very positive. I want to keep the flag bearer on the roof but if we don’t get planning permission it will have to come down.”

Resident John Mallin, who started the petition, said: “A local blacksmith has made a statue to hold a Scottish flag and installed it above his workshop, but council officials have told him he has 28 days to remove it.

“I think this is wrong as he spent time and effort making it and many locals admire what has been done.”

Nicolas Lopez, lead officer development management at Fife Council, said: “The statue is an unauthorised building operation in a conservation area, affecting a listed building, which is an offence.

“The owner has been given 28 days to remove it and is currently seeking pre-application advice from the council.”