A Scots mum is fighting against the removal of a memorial commemorating her son who died in a hit and run at the age of seven.
39-year-old Natasha MacDonald created an emotional tribute to her son on what would have been his 21st birthday, but has now been informed by West Lothian Council that the correct planning permission was not issued and it may need to be removed.
Edinburgh Live reports that on October 20, 2007, Natasha’s son Kurt was out playing with friends in Livingston when he was involved in a hit-and-run incident. The driver sped off after Kirk was struck and the boy sadly lost his life before reaching hospital.
Despite learning to live with what had happened, Natasha now faces another exhausting battle to retain the memorial of her son and says that she will do whatever it takes.
“I’m not going to back down, I’ll go the full hog, I’ll go the full way,” said Natasha.
“There are locals of Ash Grove that go around planting plants and stuff like that, I spoke to the woman and her husband in charge of doing this to see if they could put something down for Kurt’s 21st.
“We all then came together and people bought stuff and I bought stuff to plant it. It was just a few days ago that the head of West Lothian Council contacted them and said that a resident of Ash Grove had complained.”
West Lothian Council say the issue regarding the removal of the memorial centres around planning permission.
A spokesperson said: “Firstly, we would like to acknowledge that the memorial is a very thoughtful gesture and the local residents should be applauded for the efforts in helping with the general upkeep within their local area.
“However we have received a complaint regarding the memorial from a local resident.
“As this is a sensitive issue all attempts were made to try and reach a practical agreement that would satisfy both parties. Unfortunately permission was not sought in advance to create the memorial on this public land. We hope local residents will understand that all councils have set policies in place to ensure that memorials are both considered and planned with the land owner, taking all factors into consideration.
“Councils don’t allow permanent memorials, such as this, on public open space, and there are a number of reasons as to why memorials can’t be placed on public land without permission.”
In response, Natasha said: “I think it’s an absolute disgrace they want to remove it. You have the whole of Craigshill supporting me and surrounding areas in West Lothian.”
Natasha has also created a petition online to try and save the memorial, gaining over 1000 signatures in just a couple of days.
West Lothian Council also commented on the fact that the original organisers have not been told to remove it yet and that they hope a solution between both parties can be reached.
The spokesperson added: “Councils need to consider the views of all residents in such matters. Mr McLean has not been forced to remove the memorial and we had hoped that those who have installed the memorial can work with us to find a more permanent and suitable alternative memorial to mark this tragic event.”
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