UDDERLY outraged protesters have staged a city centre stampede after council officials threatened to put a fibreglass cow out to pasture.
Staff from The Huxley Bar and The Kyloe Restaurant on Rutland Place have taken to the streets in a bid to save the “Kyloe Cow”, after officials marked it for the slaughter house.
The brown and white sculpture protrudes from an upper window of the listed building in the West End.
The council says it has received complaints about the cow, which was put up by the restaurant to help people find them during the tramworks.
In December, when staff at the restaurant made clear they wouldn’t take the removal of their cow lying down, the council said they would be willing to discuss the matter – but Louise MacLean, head of marketing for The Kyloe said no such discussion was forthcoming.
“We were encouraged when we heard that, but then they replied to our offer of dialogue with another standard letter saying the cow had to go. We’ve applied for planning permission, which we expect to be refused, but our customers love the cow and we want them to know that we’re doing all we can.”
And after mounting the fancy-dress street protest, she said: “We’ve come out to make more people aware of the council trying to force us to remove our beloved cow, which we introduced as a marker when the tram project left us hidden behind roadworks. The council didn’t have a problem until the end of last year, when we were suddenly told we had 21 days to remove it as we had not sought planning permission.”
A petition launched four weeks ago to help avert cow-tastrophe has also garnered more than 1600 signatures.
“Lots of people who signed have left comments asking if the council don’t have anything better to do, like fixing potholes for example? The cow isn’t doing any harm, and they were happy to turn a blind eye while the tram works were blocking our front door.”
Milly Richards, 19, who has been working as a waitress in The Huxley since the start of the month, was only too happy to don a cow suit to help save the mascot, adding: “It would be such a shame to lose this landmark.”
Marion Williams, director of Edinburgh civic trust The Cockburn Association said the cow was unlikely to be condemned by them.
She said: “I don’t have a problem with it. It is a listed building but the cow isn’t damaging it, it is removable and as far as signage goes it is unique and has character.” A spokeswoman for the city council said: “Applications for listed building and advert consent have now been submitted, which means our enforcement notice is now on hold.
“As the applications have still to be determined, it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment any further at this stage.”