Plans to protect Piper Alpha Memorial Garden unveiled

The move comes after a member of the public asked the organisation to consider the site to protect it from any redevelopment.

Public views sought on Piper Alpha Memorial Garden proposals in Aberdeen by Historic Environment Scotland STV News

Members of the public are being encouraged to give their views on plans to protect the Piper Alpha Memorial Garden.

Historic Environment Scotland is looking to add the rose garden to its Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes.

This would put the site on the map as a place of national importance and would join other locations including Duthie Park and Balmoral Castle.

It would also help to protect the gardens should any future plans be lodged that could impact the site.

The heritage body also wants to give the bronze memorial sculpture B-listed status.

This would help to protect the city memorial and recognise it as a place of historic interest.

Opinions are also being sought on how the name of the garden should be recorded.

The move comes after a member of the public asked the organisation to consider the site to protect it from any redevelopment.

The Pound for Piper Memorial Trust unveiled £500,000 plans to redesign the gardens last year.

Its proposal includes creating a larger area around the monument that sits at the heart of the site.

New seating would be installed with more than a dozen new benches added.

The charity also wants to add information boards around the site, each one explaining the history and legacy of Piper Alpha.

But, the plans received some opposition from families of those sadly lost in the disaster.

They said they had not been consulted on the proposal and objected to the changes, with a daughter of one survivor branding it as an “insult”.

A petition was later launched pleading Aberdeen City Council to stop the revamp which gathered more than 5,000 signatures.

However, the local authority has said it will have the last word over any potential changes to the memorial gardens.

Chairman of Pound for Piper and survivor of the disaster, Steve Rae, was involved in the review and spoke with HES representatives earlier this year.

He revealed that the trust is “supportive” of the findings and welcomes the designation.

Mr Rae explained: “There is no question on how significant the gardens and the memorial statue are to those directly impacted by the Piper Alpha Disaster, citizens of Aberdeen and the wider community.

“The proposed outcome aligns with the long term aims of the trust, which is to ensure that the memorial and gardens are maintained to a high standard for years to come and remain a special place for solace, comfort, and contemplation.”

He added: “We see the designation as the catalyst for Aberdeen City Council to initiate consultation on the future of the gardens, with all stakeholders,  and look forward to actively participating in these discussions.”

Members of the public have until September 5 to comment on the proposal.

HES will then consider the feedback before making a final decision on the matter.

The memorial, featuring three figures representing the platform’s workers, was designed and created by artist Sue Jane Taylor.

Names of all 167 men who died on July 6 1988 are engraved on the pink granite plinth.

It was unveiled on the third anniversary of the disaster in 1991.

The 35th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster was marked earlier this month with a moving memorial service.

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