Help Place of Origin

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on August 13, 2015


We need your help. Kemnay Community Councillor David Evans just contacted me about a proposal to further surround Place of Origin with housing.  Some of you will know that when I was Director of the Scottish Sculpture Workshop we worked with three artists John Maine RA, Glen Onwin RSA and Brad Goldberg (Texas) to create a landscape and viewpoint at Kemnay Quarry called Place of Origin.  John Maine framed it as making landscape as art.
So Place of Origin as an artwork made out of 100,000 tonnes of quarry waste and about 7000 trees mirroring Bennachie in the way the Japanese gardens mirrored the wider landscape is all about views.  When you are standing at the top you have views for 360 degrees with the quarry in front of you and Aberdeenshire’s beautiful countryside around with Bennachie in the distance.  The artists also thought hard about how the landscape and viewpoint would look in the context of Kemnay village.
Anyway there is a proposal from a volume house builder for 49 new houses on greenfield immediately adjacent to the artwork.  At present as you ascent the viewpoint you rise above all the housing on Fyfe Park, but this stuff will be on higher ground and will immediately be in your face.
The developer tried to get the housing into the Local Development Plan a couple of years ago and it was refused so they appealed – the Scottish Government’s Reporter commented as follows, “The site is on rising ground and any development would be elevated above the existing housing adjacent to the A933. When viewed from the approach to Kemnay from the east, particularly from the B993, a development on site H1 would seriously intrude on the view of the ‘Place of Origin’. Furthermore, the development would seriously detract from views southwards from the ‘Place of Origin’ viewpoint. Consequently, it is considered that site H1 should not be allocated for housing.”
We are so grateful that Kemnay Community Council are strenuously objecting and they have noted a number of reasons including impacts on the school, the medical centre, the traffic and the stormwater drainage as well as the impact on the artwork.  I hope that you will take the time to go online and make a comment.  I think frankly you can pretty much reiterate the comments of the Scottish Government Reporter and note that the artwork won both an Aberdeenshire Council Planning Award, as well as a national Saltire Award.  You might also make a general reference to Aberdeenshire Council’s various policies on Landscape and in particular the value of place-making.
If you can take the time to object I would appreciate it a lot as would the people in Kemnay who look after Place of Origin. The link, email address and postal address for objections are all on the web page.

One Response

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  1. therhynieman said, on August 13, 2015 at 11:16 am

    I think I need to go and visit this place, see what its all about!

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