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On a weekend when the town will be full of Frenchmen it is probably appropriate that work will start on the redesign of Picardy Place.

The Sherlock Holmes statue and Paolozzi’s The Manuscript of Monte Cassino have already been moved to the Hillside area where the council believes they will be safer during the works.

Sir Tom Farmer who gifted the sculptures standing beside the Monte Cassino foot by Eduardo Paolozzi just before it was moved to Hillside Crescent in December 2017

Beginning this weekend the trees will be felled outside the cathedral before any birds nest in them. The council has assured us that for all trees cut down they will be replaced by two planted elsewhere.

The detailed design for the roundabout is not yet finalised. The council has delegated authority for the final design to the Chief Executive, although the outline plan is for a three lane gyratory with segregated cycle lanes.

This has not met with universal praise particularly from cycling and walking groups, some of whom think it will be more dangerous.


From 1,000 responses the majority were in favour of an improved public realm area, and the council has conceded in part by confirming that they will no longer sell or develop the central island area in any way, at least for the time being.

Councillor Lesley Macinnes, Transport Convener, said: “These trees need to be removed to allow work to go ahead on Picardy Place and it’s essential they’re taken down before bird-nesting season begins at the end of February.

“Meanwhile, discussions continue with key stakeholders to finalise the finer details of the design.”