SCULPTOR Andy Scott has launched a furious broadside at planning officials after a burger bar set up shop beside his famous Kelpies artwork on the Forth and Clyde canal.

The Glasgow-based artist threatened legal action unless the fast food outlet, which he called a "tacky concession stand", is removed - saying that posed a threat to his livelihood by blocking views of the iconic 100 foot-tall horse heads.

Mr Scott warned said that the arrival of the stall prevents the site being used as a backdrop for TV, film and photographs potentially affecting his revenue.

And he said that the burger bar "defiled" the area and undermined its cultural standing.

The row broke out after Falkirk Community Trust (FCT), a charitable arm of Falkirk Council which runs the site, awarded a contract to provide food to caterers Artisan Grill, who set up the Bavarian-style food stall without planning permission.

After Falkirk Council refused to grant the firm retrospective permission, it appealed and is now awaiting a final decision. In the meantime the bar is free to trade.

In a letter sent to planners who will consider the appeal, Mr Scott said: "Placing a Bavarian burger bar at the foot of the sculptures, a tacky concessions stand which even had the gall to sell 'Kelpie Burgers', shows that the management of FCT apparently have no understanding of the cultural importance of the asset they have inherited, nor of their obligations to the artist who created them.

"It beggars belief that permission was ever given for this eyesore within the Kelpies site in the first place."

He added: "The burger bar's positioning defiles the sculptures' cultural significance in the eyes of the audience. In doing so, it undermines my professional standing and, in effect, therefore has the potential to harm my reputation and in turn my career and future income."

The Kelpies are inspired by a Scottish myth about supernatural spirits who made their homes in lochs and could take the form of horses.

A spokesman for Falkirk Council said that the decision rested with the Planning Review Committee, and would not comment further.