Comet archway plan for pier steams into opposition

The archway would be on the north-west corner of Helensburgh pier

An archway to mark the 200th anniversary of the Comet steamship’s first passenger service has failed to win support from councillors.

Helensburgh Heritage Trust wanted to gift the two-dimensional structure to Argyll and Bute Council, saying it had a designed life of 50 years.

It already has planning permission from the council to place the metal silhouette, 15 feet in length and with the top of the mast 20 feet off the ground, on a corner of Helensburgh pier currently occupied by a car park sign and dog waste bin.

The trust’s funding application would need to be countersigned by the council as landowner, but there was a sceptical response at today’s (Tuesday’s) meeting of the Helensburgh and Lomond area committee.

Councillor Gary Mulvaney said: “I have got serious concerns on a number of different issues. Style is a subjective thing, but it does not appeal to me.

“There are issues with potential vandalism. I can imagine the flags being subject to damage and blowing off. It could attract some undesirables to congregate there.

“This proposal just does not stack up on a whole series of grounds.”

He moved that the committee did not proceed with the project.

Cllr Vivien Dance agreed that the trust did a lot of good work, but showed the committee photographs of erosion near this site and said that she had conducted an ‘informal referendum’ at the weekend with the residents of nearby Tower Place.

“Their main concern is the wind damage and the 20-feet waves which hit that site,” she said.

The trust wanted the silhouette to be in place by August.

“I don’t think there has been enough consultation with the local people. I cannot see a design statement.

“When we look at the maintenance that will be required on this I just don’t think it is feasible.

“It is commendable to donate this to the council, but it is the donation of a liability.”

The committee agreed not to sign the funding application, with no members speaking in favour of the project.

1 Comment

  1. Perhaps a less contentious proposal would be to move the Comet’s flywheel from the east esplanade to the pier and add an information plaque?

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