A project to replace a historic arch in Montrose High Street could be set to take a major step forward if backing is given by Angus Council.
The Montrose Society heritage organisation is keen to see the arch that once graced the top of New Wynd replaced as an intrinsic feature of the town’s architectural history.
A range of designs have been produced, some with a more modern twist than the original, and an application for outline planning permission is ready to be lodged with the council.
The estimated reconstruction cost is between £30,000 and £40,000 but before embarking on a marathon fund-raising effort the society wants backing in principle for the project from the council.
“We are simply clearing the proposal with the council so we can establish whether or not we can go ahead with it, ” said society president Sandy Munro.
“It is difficult to give an accurate estimate on cost since a decision hasn’t been made on the final design yet, but obviously it will be a considerable sum and there’s no point in going any further until we get clearance from the council.”
The arch, known as the Star arch because of the proximity of a hotel of that name and the fact it featured a star motif, was removed for safety reasons around 60 years ago. For many townspeople, their High Street has never had the same appeal since.
The arch was taken down after John Menzies bought Clark newsagents.
An upgrade required temporary removal of the wooden arch but the timbers were found to be rotten and the decision made to burn it.Montrose roseThis time, it is intended the arch might be made of steel and incorporate the Montrose rose emblem.
The community council has stated support for the plan, as has the Montrose area partnership.
Montrose Society member Raymond Sutton, who runs a roofing firm, is particularly keen to be involved in restoring the structure. His father, Ernie, was involved in the demolition of the original.
He said, “We would hope to construct the replacement with low-maintenance material — I think, probably, stainless steel.
“We have 18 different designs, some quite modern, though faithful to the original shape.
“It won’t have a star on it but we are so far undecided about what should replace that.”