A city centre restaurant has been ordered to remove a landmark cow sculpture which has been sticking out of their window for two years after a number of complaints.
Edinburgh City Council says Kyloe Restaurant and Grill in Rutland Place did not apply for planning permission to put the brown and white cow on the front of their eatery.
It has been in place since the restaurant opened two years ago and looks out over the west end of Princes Street.
Owners Signature Pub Group say the cow has not caused any problems over the years and is “practically an Edinburgh landmark”.
They claim the council ignored it while tram works were going on outside but now the road has reopened, they have been asked to take it down.
But the council says it has received a number of complaints about the sculpture and no listed building consent was sought.
In a letter sent to Kyloe, giving them 21 days to take the cow down, the council says the cow is having a “detrimental effect on the character of the listed building and on the amenity of the area caused by its position”.
Owner Nic Wood says the cow was a way of overcoming the tram works, which kept customers away from the closed-off West End, saying it was a way of finding the venue.
He said: “The cow has been up for two years. It’s practically an Edinburgh landmark, a symbolic icon. So many customers find us by the cow, love the cow, discuss the cow, are mesmerised by the cow.
“The West End of Edinburgh has two gateways; one is the revamped Haymarket Station, much publicised and much invested in. The other is the Rutland Hotel corner and Kyloe Cow as the key symbol of the much beleaguered and financially constricted West End.
“It’s a really poor show that the council now ask us to take it down. What harm is it doing?
“The inconvenience caused by the execution of the tram works over the last few years has lost us so much business because people couldn’t find us. Our cow was a means of overcoming this by raising our profile during times of adversity.”
A council spokeswoman said: “We have written to the owners advising that because Listed Building Consent has neither been sought nor obtained for this feature, we have no option but to request its removal but would be happy to discuss the issue.”