Compromise on bank’s restoration

The Bank of Scotland building in Kirriemuir.
The Bank of Scotland building in Kirriemuir.

The Bank of Scotland has been given the go-ahead to continue repairs to its Kirriemuir branch, more than 18 months after the project started.

It came under fire in the summer of 2014 for the “unsympathetic” way in which the repairs were being carried out to the building’s ashlar frontage. The bank stressed that, as the building is within the town’s conservation area, the project was being carried out in consultation with Angus Council’s planning department and conservation officer.

At that time the bank also sought permission for a lime render of the frontage to be applied as part of the restoration but that has now been ruled out by planners following a number of objections and a recent inspection of the building.

The bank began the work after an incident in 2013 when render falling from the frontage narrowly missed a passing pedestrian.

Development standards committee members heard at their recent meeting that the sandstone used predominantly in Kirrie’s buildings is clay-rich but of “generally poor quality, very vulnerable to the effects of weathering and with a tendency to disaggregate over time.”

Vivien Smith, head of planning, said the facade of the three-storey Victorian building had at one time been cut back and covered with a coloured render to match the original stonework. In her report, she said that following a detailed inspection of the building by the Scottish Lime Trust a revised repair plan was submitted.

She added: “A large proportion of the stone facade will be left untouched.”

Kirriemuir councillor Ronnie Proctor said the decision was a good compromise for the bank and the town’s community council and other organisations that urged a rethink of the scheme.