UPDATE

 

January 25th 2016


Cala appeal rejected


            The appeal by Cala and Kensington and Edinburgh Estates for planning permission to build 49 houses at Boghall East on Blackness Road has been refused. The Reporter, Michael Cunliffe, says that he has rejected the appeal because of 'the severe constraint on secondary school capacity'. The site, which is next to Springfield Grange, is the one for which Kensington and Edinburgh Estates announced plans to build a supermarket in June 2008. However, it never made a formal planning application. 

            The full statement by the Reporter is on the appeals website: dpea.scotland.gov.uk.  The case reference is PPA-400-2058.


November 20th 2015


Target date set for Cala appeal


The Reporter on the appeal by Cala and Kensington and Edinburgh Estates on their application to build 49 houses at Boghall East on Blackness Road has now been appointed. He is Mr Michael Cunliffe BSc(Hons) MSc MCIWEM.  The Dpea has informed West Lothian Council and Cala, in an email, that Mr Cunliffe 'will  be carrying out an inspection of the appeal site.The reporter does not consider it necessary to be accompanied on this visit.' The Dpea adds in the email: 'In agreement with the targets set for us by Scottish Ministers, we had hoped to have a decision on this case by 1 January 2016. Unfortunately, the reporter advises me that there will be a delay. The new target date is now 15 January 2016.'



November 17th 2015


 Council urges rejection of Cala plan


         West Lothian Council has issued its response to the appeal to the Scottish Ministers by Cala and Kensington and Edinburgh Estates over its failure to reach a decision on their application for 49 houses on Blackness Road at Boghall East beside Springfield Grange. The Council says that it is opposed to the application and urges the Reporter on the appeal to reject it. The council considers that there is not enough spare education capacity and it is not yet satisfied about drainage and flooding issues. However, it also indicates that in the medium to long term the site is likely to be suitable for housing. 


October 21st 2015


Cala lodges appeal


    Cala has lodged an appeal with the Scottish Ministers over the lack of a decision on its application, with Kensington and Edinburgh Estates, to build 49 houses on the south side of Blackness Road beside Springfield Grange.    On August 6th 2015, Cala told the Council that it wanted to have a decision by September 9th but no decision has as yet been made. The planning application was lodged with the Council on May 15th 2014.


September 14th 2015 


Burghmuir to be 'countryside belt'


   The draft text of the next Local Development Plan for West Lothian has now been issued by West Lothian Council. The Plan proposes a total of 569 housing sites for Linlithgow during the next five years but states that development should not proceed until places are available at the new secondary school planned for Winchburgh, which is not expected before 2019. It also states that issues of transportation and air quality in Linlithgow need to be mitigated. It indicates that suitable measures,  including a four-way junction at the M9 and improved traffic signals at Linlithgow Bridge, Back Station Road and Westport, are available to deal with these issues.  Following the recent refusal of the appeal by Wallace Land for 200 houses at Burghmuir, the Plan proposes that this site should be protected as 'countryside belt'. The sites proposed for housing in the draft plan include 200 at Wilcoxholm/Pilgrims Hill, 120 at Clarendon Farm and 50 at Boghall East on Blackness Road, where Kensington and Edinburgh Estates, together with Cala, have made an application for 49  houses which has not yet been decided by the Council.


July 22nd 2015 


Ministers reject Burghmuir appeal



  The Scottish government ministers have rejected the appeal by Wallace Land for permission to build 200 houses at Burghmuir on the south side of Blackness Road.

       The ministers have also rejected the appeal by Gladman for permission to build 119 houses at Clarendon Farm.

The decisions are final subject only to a right of appeal to the Court of Session on legal grounds.

       The analyses by the Reporters on the two appeals will be available later this week on the website dpea.scotland.gov.uk.  The reference numbers are PPA-400-2045 for Burghmuir and PPA-400-2046 for Clarendon Farm.



July 1st 2015


Burghmuir report sent to Ministers


       The analysis and recommendations of the Reporter on the planning appeal by Wallace Land for permission to build 200 houses at Burghmuir were sent to the Scottish Ministers on June 30th.  The appeal by Wallace Land and the one by Gladman for 119 houses at Clarendon Farm will be decided by the Ministers, who called them in earlier this year. The recommendations on the Gladman appeal were sent to them on May 27th. The recommendations will not be publicly available until after the decisions by the Ministers are announced. The Ministers have six months in which to make their decisions.


June 3rd 2015


Edinburgh Road store plan approved


    This is an update on the planning application by Mactaggart and Mickel for a small supermarket on Edinburgh Road which was submitted to West Lothian Council in February. The proposal, on the site where there used to be a petrol station, a pet shop and a flooring retailer, was approved by the development management committee at its meeting on Wednesday, June 3rd.

       The development management manager, Chris Norman, had recommended to the committee that the proposal should be accepted. His report stated that the main source of trade diversion is estimated to be from the Tesco and Sainsbury’s stores: 'While some trade may be drawn from existing High Street shops, this is not expected to be significant as the main function of the store is weekly food shopping.'  At 1,115 sqm, the proposed store would be about half the size of the existing Tesco store in the Regent Centre.

       It is not known whether Mactaggart and Mickel have a potential tenant or purchaser lined up for the proposed supermarket. It would be about 30 per cent of the size of the supermarket which Wallace Land put forward for Burghmuir and  the same size as the extension to Tesco for which planning permission was granted in April 2013. That extension has not as yet been built and the permission for it will expire in June 2016 if it does not go ahead.

        As a result of the approval for the Tesco extension in 2013, Wallace Land withdrew its application for a supermarket at Burghmuir. It subsequently applied for permission to build 200 houses on the southern side of Blackness Road at Burghmuir. That application was refused by the Council and Wallace Land lodged an appeal. The assessment by the reporter on that appeal is expected to be finished shortly. The decision on the appeal has been called in by the Scottish ministers and the reporter's conclusions will not be publicly available until the ministers have announced their decision.

         The appeal by Gladman for permission to build 119 houses at Clarendon Farm is also to be decided by the ministers. The assessment by the reporter on that appeal was sent to the ministers on May 27th. 


May 1st 2015


Cala planning application


     There has been a further extension of the period for consideration of the planning application by Cala and Kensington and Edinburgh Estates to build 49 houses on the site on Blackness Road, next to Springfield Grange, where Kensington and Edinburgh Estates previously hoped to build a supermarket and other assets. A decision on the application is not now expected until August 2015 at the earliest.


February 26th 2015


Further update on Cala planning application


   This is an update on the planning application by Cala and Kensington and Edinburgh Estates to build 49 houses on the site on Blackness Road, next to Springfield Grange, where Kensington and Edinburgh Estates previously hoped to build a supermarket and other assets. The housing application (0302/FUL/14) was lodged in May 2014.


   The developer has requested a further extension of the period for consideration of the planning application until May. There had previously been an extension to the middle of February 2015 to allow for the resolution of technical matters such as drainage. It is now hoped that the Council will be able to reach a decision on the application around May or June.


February 24th 2015


New supermarket proposal


         A planning application for a new supermarket in Linlithgow has been submitted to West Lothian Council. The proposal has been put forward by Mactaggart and Mickel. They are best known as housebuilders but they have been expanding into commercial property development in recent years. The application is for a Class 1 retail unit of 1,115 square metres (12,000 square feet) on the site of the former Jet petrol station on Edinburgh road. Such a store would be smaller than Aldi at Stockbridge and about half the size of Tesco in the Regent Centre.

          The retail impact assessment submitted with the application, describes the site as 'edge of centre' and states that it would be a 'foodstore', with possibly a small range of non-food goods such as utensils and textiles. It predicts that the main impact of the store would be on Tesco and Sainsburys. The application does not specify which supermarket company would operate the store.   

       

          The details of the application are available on this link here


The deadline for comments on the application is Friday, March 6th.



December 19th 2014


Ministers to decide appeals


    The planning appeals by Wallace Land for 200 houses at Burghmuir and by Gladman for 119 houses at Clarendon Farm are now to be decided by the Scottish Ministers themselves and not by the inspectors (known technically as Reporters) whom they appointed. The Inspectors will deliver their reports and recommendations to the ministers but they will not be made publicly available. The ministers have six months in which to make their decisions. The Recall notices of the two appeals are identically phrased and they state:

'The Scottish Ministers, in exercise of the powers conferred on them by paragraph 3(1) of Schedule 4 to the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, hereby direct that the above-mentioned appeal shall be determined by the Scottish Ministers instead of a person appointed by them.

'This Direction is given because Ministers consider the delivery of appropriate housing developments, particularly in growth areas, and in accordance with the recently issued Scottish Planning Policy, to be an issue of national significance.'


December 6th 2014


Update on Cala planning application


   This is an update on the planning application by Cala and Kensington and Edinburgh Estates to build 49 houses on the site on Blackness Road, next to Springfield Grange, where Kensington and Edinburgh Estates previously hoped to build a supermarket and other assets. The housing application (0302/FUL/14) was lodged in May.  

   West Lothian Council has agreed with the developer to extend the period for consideration of the planning application to the middle of February 2015 to allow for the resolution of technical matters such as drainage.  A decision on the proposed development is likely to be made at that time and if permission is refused, it is likely that the developer will seek to appeal that decision.

    It should be noted that the re-zoning of the site for housing provision is under consideration through the Local Development Plan process.


Update on appeals by Wallace Land and Gladman  


    The appeal to the Scottish ministers by Wallace Land for permission to build 200 houses on the south side of Blackness Road near the M9 is still proceeding. Following the hearing in Linlithgow in July, the Inspector has received a large volume of documentation, data and analyses, primarily from Wallace Land and from West Lothian Council and these can be seen on the appeals website - dpea.scotland.gov.uk. The reference is PPA-400-2045.

   Many of the key points, notably housing provision and schools, are also relevant to the appeal that was lodged earlier this year by Gladman for new housing at Clarendon Farm. The reference on the website for this appeal is PPA-400-2046.  The original target date for a decision on Wallace Land was August 13th 2014 and the target date for Gladman was December 5th 2014. It now looks certain that these decisions will not be known until some time in the first quarter of 2015.



August 22nd 2014


Consultation on Plan


   West Lothian Council has now formally published its Main Issues Report (MIR) on the next Local Development Plan and is launching a consultation process on it. There will be a drop-in session at the Burgh Halls from 10 am to 6 pm on Tuesday September 30th when anyone interested can view relevant documents and talk informally to planning officials.  Details and links about the MIR can be found at www.westlothian.gov.uk/MIR. Comments on the Report have to be submitted by October 17th.

   The final published version of the MIR confirms previous indications that the Council is opposed to new housing at Burghmuir and also to a retail development at Boghall East, the site beside Springfield Grange on Blackness Road. But it does put forward Boghall East as a preferred site for housing. Cala, in partnership with Kensington and Edinburgh Estates, lodged a planning application for 49 houses on the site in May. However, the Education Planning officers in West Lothian Council said in July in a formal comment on the application: 'As it stands, although there is space at the primary level, the Non Denominational Secondary space at Linlithgow Academy is required to service development coming forward at Winchburgh and as such Education Planning would raise an objection to this site coming forward at the moment'.



June 5th 2014


Hearing on housing appeal


The appeal by Wallace Land for permission to build 200 houses at Burghmuir on the south side of Blackness Road is to be the subject of a Hearing at 10 am on Wednesday July 16th 2014 in the Burgh Halls, Linlithgow. The Hearing has been called by Mr Dannie Onn, the Reporter appointed by the Scottish Ministers to decide whether to allow the appeal by Wallace Land against the refusal of permission by West Lothian Council.

      The Hearing will be open to all those who wish to attend but only representatives of the Council and of Wallace Land, together with those who previously submitted comments, will be entitled to speak. These people have been contacted directly to advise them of the Hearing.

      The following are stated to be the Matters to be considered at the hearing session:


1. Whether there is a 5-year effective supply of land for housing within West

Lothian.

2. How education capacity is calculated, the nature of any shortage of school

places and what can be done to provide an increase in places if a

shortage is found.

3. The impact of education capacity on delivery of the proposed housing.

4. Planning obligations which may be made.

5. Suggestions for planning conditions which may be imposed should

permission be given.

No other matters relevant to this appeal will be considered at the hearing session.


      The full details of the Hearing can be found on the appeals office website, dpea.scotland.gov.uk. The case reference is PPA-400-2045.



May 17th 2014


Cala lodges planning application



   The planning application by Cala for 49 houses at Springfield Grange on the south side of Blackness Road has now been lodged with West Lothian Council. The reference number on the Council website is 0302/FUL/14. Cala is in partnership with Kensington and Edinburgh Estates which is the company that announced proposals for a supermarket, a hotel and a nursing home on the site in 2008. However, it never lodged a planning application for those proposals.

    Meanwhile, the decision on the appeal by Wallace Land against the Council's rejection of its application for 200 houses on Blackness Road to the east of the Springfield Grange site is expected in the next few weeks.



February 21st 2014


Wallace Land to appeal


      Wallace Land has lodged an appeal with the Scottish Ministers against the Council's refusal of planning permission for housing at Burghmuir on the south side of Blackness road.


January 27th 2014


New proposal on Blackness Road


      A new proposal for housing on Blackness Road is being put forward by Cala in partnership with Kensington and Edinburgh Estates. The two companies have told West Lothian Council that they are preparing a planning application for housing on the triangular site of 8.2 acres at Springfield Grange on the south side of Blackness Road,. They are launching a pre-application consultation on their plans and are expected to make a presentation to the Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council at its meeting on Tuesday February 25th.

     The pre-application notice is on the West Lothian Council website and the reference number is 0010/PAC/14.

     Kensington and Edinburgh is the company which said in 2008 that it wanted to build a supermarket, hotel and nursing home on the site. However, it never made a planning application.  Cala built the Grange View and Grange Knowe houses. Wimpey applied for permission to build houses on the site in the 1990s but it was refused.

    The site is allocated for campus-style office development in the current local development plan with a height restriction of eight metres. However, a new local plan has been prepared by the Council and is expected to be put forward for public consultation later this year.


November 13th 2013


Council rejects Burghmuir housing plan


The planning application by Wallace Land for 200 houses at Burghmuir on the south side of Blackness Road was rejected at the meeting of West Lothian Council in Livingston today. The decision by the councillors was unanimous.


November 6th 2013


Council to decide on Burghmuir housing


The planning application by Wallace Land for 200 houses at Burghmuir on the south side of Blackness Road will be decided at a meeting of the full West Lothian Council at 10 am on Wednesday November 13th 2013 in Council Chambers, West Lothian Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston. The council planning officers are recommending refusal of the application as it is contrary to the Local Plan.

The Council allows people to attend the meeting and they can make a comment for up to five minutes by prior arrangement. The deadline for requesting the right to speak is 12 noon on Monday November 11th.  They should contact the duty planning officer on 01506 282456 or email planning@westlothian.gov.uk.



August 29th 2013


Community Council rejects Wallace Land and Gladman


    The Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council reviewed both the Wallace Land application for 200 houses at Burghmuir on the south side of Blackness Road and the proposal by Gladman Ltd for 160 houses at Clarendon Farm at its meeting on Tuesday August 27th.           

    

    The Community Council decided that both proposals were premature because the Main Issues Report by West Lothian Council on the next Local Development Plan is imminent and is expected in November. The Community Council considered that both proposed developments are contrary to the current West Lothian Local Plan and any decision in favour of them at this stage would compromise other potentially advantageous sites. The formal planning application by Gladman for its proposal has not yet been submitted to West Lothian Council.  Because both applications are classed as major developments and significantly contrary to the Local Development Plan, they will be decided by the full West Lothian Council of 33 members and not the Development Management Committee.


August 27th 2013


Comments deadline extended



The deadline for making comments on the Wallace Land planning application for 200 houses on the south side of Blackness Road has been extended to the end of Wednesday August 28th. This is because the council website for viewing the case file (0518/P/13) or submitting comments was not accessible on August 23rd because of technical problems.  Comments on the application are not going to be put on the council website but will be available for inspection at County Buildings after they have been processed and acknowledged. When the council moves out of County Buildings in mid-September, they will be available in Linlithgow library.

 The website with details of the planning application can be accessed here:


August 2nd 2013


Wallace Land submits housing application


    Wallace Land has lodged a planning application for 200 houses on the south side of Blackness road at Burghmuir. The details and submissions are on the planning website of West Lothian Council and the application number is 0518/P/13.  There is a summary of the proposals in one of the documents and it can be accessed by clicking here.



April 24th 2013


Wallace Land outlines new strategy 


    Wallace Land has confirmed that it now has no intention of applying for permission to build a supermarket at Burghmuir  - unless the proposed extension to Tesco at the Regent Centre is not built.

     It is to hold a public exhibition on Wednesday May 15th 2013 in the Low Port Centre to set out its proposals for building 200 houses on the south side of Blackness Road.

     Bob Salter of Geddes Consulting, on behalf of Wallace Land, made a presentation to the Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council on April 23rd 2013 on the proposal.

     He said Wallace Land would 'continue to have a dialogue' with the planning officers in West Lothian Council about the land on the north side of Blackness Road.

     It decided to focus on the 200 houses on the south side first because they would be entirely in the Springfield Primary catchment area whereas houses on the north side would be in three catchment areas.  The south side was also chosen because it would have a 'lower impact' on the appearance of the entrance along Blackness road into Linlithgow.

    Wallace Land was 'committed' to providing the extra slipways at the M9 junction even though it has now dropped the proposal to build a supermarket and will not raise it again unless the extension to Tesco at the Regent Centre is not built. Any retail element otherwise would be only a 'neighbourhood' store.

    Wallace Land would set money aside for the slipways from the construction of the 200 houses on the south side but this would not be sufficient to pay for them and the remainder would come from building the additional 400 houses on the north side.

    Bob Salter said that there would be talks with the council about the best use of the land on the north side that would have been occupied by the supermarket and he added that the combination of extending the Regent Centre and building 600 houses on Blackness Road 'works for the town'.


Friday April 19th 2013


Wallace to pursue housing proposals


The Linlithgow Gazette today reported Jason Wallace of Wallace Land, as stating that they are pursuing the current pre-application consultation process for 200 houses on the south side of Blackness Road. The company has already  arranged to make a presentation on this at the Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council meeting on April 23.  He also said that they intend to promote the whole Burghmuir site for housing through the forthcoming consultation process on the next Local Development Plan. He made no mention of the supermarket proposal which the company tried unsuccessfully to persuade the Council to allow it to withdraw from its planning application before dropping the entire application.

     Earlier this week, Tesco revealed an important shift in strategy away from large supermarkets. The Guardian reported that Phil Clarke, its chief executive, 'is taking the knife to Tesco's UK store expansion plans, slashing growth plans by nearly half. The era of rapid growth – known as the "space race" to open large supermarkets – must come to an end, he said, and attention must be focused on its convenience stores and online business.'


April 15th 2013


Wallace Land withdraws application


Wallace Land's representatives have written to the development management manager at West Lothian Council to inform him that the company has decided to withdraw its planning application at Burghmuir. The letter can be accessed here.



APRIL 12th 2013:


PLANNING OFFICER RECOMMENDS REFUSAL


The meeting of the full council to consider the Burghmuir planning application will take place on Wednesday April 17th at the Council offices in the Civic Centre, Livingston.  The meeting will start at 9 am and there are breaks scheduled in mid-morning, at midday for lunch and in mid-afternoon. Burghmuir is the first item on the agenda.

Chris Norman, the development management manager of West Lothian Council, has written a long and detailed report for the meeting recommending refusal of the application.


His report can be accessed here.

         

His conclusion is: 'The application for planning permission in principle for the proposed mixed use development at Burghmuir is a major planning application that is significantly contrary to the development plan. The proposal conflicts with the council‟s policies on housing land, education, retailing, and prime quality agricultural land. Nevertheless

there are benefits that will flow from the proposal if it was to proceed and which comprise of the enhanced motorway junction and the provision of land for a hotel and affordable housing. These positive components do not offset the development plan presumption against the development however.'        

         

His report also discloses initiatives by Wallace Land to defer the council meeting and to drop the proposed supermarket. The report states: 'On 3rd April 2013 solicitors for the applicant contacted Development Management following the decision of the Development Management Committee to be minded to grant retail expansion proposals at the Regent Centre in Linlithgow. The council was advised that in light of the Regent Centre decision the information in the Burghmuir application is 'out of date'. The applicants wished to carry out a further assessment of retail, traffic and air quality impacts and that this work 'is likely to give rise to changes' to the Burghmuir proposals. The applicants sought a deferral of the consideration of their application to allow this further assessment work to be undertaken. Members should note that in view of the reduction in scale of the retail component council officials consider that

further air quality, retail and transportation studies are not necessary....

'On 5 April, planning consultants for the applicant, in referring to the earlier solicitor's letter, suggested to the council that the size of the retail component ought to be reduced to 500sqm and become a local neighbourhood function. rather than a

medium sized foodstore. The council is unable to consider this substantial change in the description of planning application, and the decision on the application must be based on the 3,716sqm supermarket that the applicant agrees is contrary to council policy.'


March 27th 2013


Regent extension approved


The development management committee today unanimously approved the planning applications for extending the supermarket and the car park at the Regent Centre. However, the decision notices will not be issued by the council until the outcome of a screening by the Scottish ministers to establish whether or not an environmental impact assessment should have been required. The screening process is expected to take about three weeks.


March 20th 2013 


Planners recommend Regent extension


     The development management manager of West Lothian Council has recommended to the development management committee that it should accept the planning applications for the extension of the Tesco supermarket and the car parking facilities at the Regent Centre. The committee will decide on the applications at its meeting on Wednesday March 27th.


The reports on the supermarket and the car parking can be accessed here and here.



March 13th 2013


Analysis of retail impact


   Iain Paton, the planning spokesman for the Linlithgow Civic Trust, has submitted a detailed objection to the Burghmuir supermarket proposal, highlighting the negative impact which it would have on the town centres of both Linlithgow and Bo'ness. The objection can be accessed here.


March 7th 2013


Impact on Winchburgh


     The impact on the new development at Winchburgh of the latest proposals by Wallace Land on housing numbers and educational contributions have been highlighted in a letter from Regenco. The concerns of the company, which is engaged in a major project at Winchburgh, are set out in the letter which has been placed on the West Lothian Council planning website today. The letter can be accessed here.


March 1st 2013  


Wallace Land may drop supermarket


 Wallace Land has informed the planning department of West Lothian Council that it may drop its proposal for a supermarket at Burghmuir if the extension to the Regent Centre is approved. A letter from its consultants, Geddes, was placed on the planning website today and states that in the event of such approval, it would reserve its position. The company is also saying that the percentage of affordable houses in its proposals may be dropped from 25 per cent to 15 per cent to enable it to meet contributions to a new school at Winchburgh.

   It is expected that the Regent Centre planning applications will be determined at the development management committee meeting on March 27th so the outcome will be known before the full council meeting that is required to determine the Burghmuir application. The earliest feasible date for this meeting on the council schedule would be April 17th.

  There is also a letter about the retail impact from Wallace Land's consultants, James Barr, on the website, setting out its reasons for rejecting the impact analysis from Roderick Maclean Associates , the consultants for the Council.

   The Geddes and James Barr letters can be accessed here



Application reopened for retail comments


        The Wallace Land planning application for Burghmuir has been re-advertised by West Lothian Council in the Linlithgow Gazette for comments on the latest retail impact analysis submitted by the company. This confirmed the reduction in the size of the proposed supermarket by one third to 40,000 sq.ft. The deadline for comments is March 22nd 2013. All of the comments on Burghmuir which were submitted to the council last year are now on the planning website and they all remain valid.


February 26th 2013


Public meeting on development plans:


The Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council is holding a public meeting on the future development of Linlithgow from 7 30 pm to 9 pm on Tuesday February 26th in the Burgh Halls. There will be updates on current proposals, including Burghmuir, and also on the Local Development Plan, followed by a public debate.


February 21ST 2013


APPLICATION TO BE RE-ADVERTISED


    The planning application for Burghmuir will be readvertised by West Lothian Council in the Linlithgow Gazette on Friday March 1st for comments on the retail impact of the proposed supermarket. This follows the submission by Wallace Land to the Council of a revised retail analysis which formally confirms that the size of the proposed supermarket has been reduced by a third to 40,000 sq ft. This would still be larger than either Tesco or Sainsburys in Linlithgow.  Comments and objections sent to the council last year continue to be valid.The date for the meeting of West Lothian councillors to decide the application has not yet been fixed but the earliest possible date would be April 17th 2013.



February 5th 2013


CONSULTANTS CONFIRM TOWN CENTRE THREAT


       A new retail impact analysis by Roderick MacLean Associates, prepared for West Lothian Council, has been put on the council planning website today. Its detailed analysis confirms that an out of town supermarket at Burghmuir would be a serious threat to the town centres of Linlithgow and Bo'ness and that threat would be even greater if the Tesco extension at the Regent Centre is approved and built.

   The analysis indicates that convenience shopping turnover in Linlithgow town centre would drop by 26 per cent and in Bo'ness town centre by 20 per cent. It states (para 4.6.3): 'If the Burghmuir supermarket fails to achieve the predicted levels of clawback of leakage, these impacts would be much higher.It is concluded that, even without the Regent Centre extension, the proposed Burghmuir supermarket could not be accommodated without threatening the vitality and viability of the town centres of Linlithgow and Bo’ness.'


    The full MacLean report can be accessed here.


The Council will readvertise the planning application for comment on retail issues if or when Wallace Land submit a further retail impact analysis of their own. Wallace Land has confirmed that the size of the proposed supermarket has been reduced by one third to 40,000 sq ft. This would still be far larger than Tesco, Sainsburys or Aldi in Linlithgow.





February 1st 2013


New proposal by Wallace Land


Wallace Land has unexpectedly launched a proposal to make a separate new planning application for 200 houses on the south side of Blackness road. It has lodged a formal notice of its intention with West Lothian Council and this is on the council planning website on reference 0059/PAC/13. There will be a 12 week consultation period during which a public exhibition will be held. The proposal overlaps with the existing Burghmuir application which is being maintained. Wallace Land says it wishes to give the Council an opportunity to compare its proposals with the recently announced proposal by another company, Gladman, to build 195 houses on a site at Clarendon Farm.


January 18th 2013


    The Burghmuir planning application has been re-advertised by West Lothian Council in the Linlithgow Gazette because of additional data on air quality. The report, prepared by consultants acting for Wallace Land, is on the council's planning website and can be accessed here. The deadline for comments on the air quality issue is February 15th 2013. 

     The planning application is also going to be separately re-advertised for comments on the retail impact of the proposals, following a report to the council by outside consultants on the matter and also a suggestion that the size of the proposed store may be reduced by a third to 40,000 sq ft.


January 10th 2013


OBJECTION BY FIONA HYSLOP  MSP


The objection to the Burghmuir proposals which was submitted by Fiona Hyslop MSP to West Lothian Council last March has now been placed on the council planning website, together with 23 other comments that were lodged at the time of the application. There are still several hundred comments in paper form at County Buildings which have not yet been scanned onto the website.  The letter from Fiona Hyslop is an excellent summary of the reasons why Burghmuir should be rejected and it can accessed here.


January 9th 2013  


FLOOD RISK AT BURGMUIR





The risk of flooding at Burghmuir was highlighted in a letter to the Linlithgow Gazette of January 4th 2013.  Laurence J Stewart C.Eng MIMechE took the above photo on New Year's Day. In his letter he wrote:


'For some time I have doubted the practicality and wisdom of the proposed development, east of the old Sun Plant....There are numerous areas on the proposed site which are prone to flooding and this area is clearly the worst. (Field opposite Eastern entrance to Springfield estate facing North, note family of twelve adult swans).

The following questions occur to me:

1.  Who is going to buy property in an area prone to flooding ??

2.  If the area can be drained, can this be undertaken without flooding the M9 to the North or the current housing to the South ??'



December 12th 2012  


APPLICATION TO BE RE-ADVERTISED,


          This is an update on the planning application by Wallace Land at Burghmuir. The information has been confirmed as correct by Ross Burton, the case officer for the application at West Lothian Council, and it being circulated with his permission.
          Wallace Land have submitted a draft amended retail impact assessment. This follows discussions they have had with Roderick Maclean Associates, the consultants commissioned by the Council to examine the retail impact analysis. The revised statement from Wallace Land is currently being examined by Roderick Maclean Associates. 
          An amended report on air quality is expected to be available on December 21st. It will, together with the final submission of the amended retail statement, be placed on the website as soon as it is received.
          Because of the new retail and air quality data, the Council will be required to readvertise the application when both are submitted and placed on the website. This advertisement will appear in the Linlithgow Gazette, probably during January. The earliest feasible date would be January 11th, but it will of course depend on when the council receives both documents.
         There will be a 28-day period from the date of the advertisement during which comments on the new retail and air quality data and analyses can be submitted.
         All the comments which were submitted at the time of the planning application earlier this year continue to be valid and will be taken into account.
         New comments should therefore focus on the amended retail impact statement and air quality analysis.



November 2nd 2012

 

The text of the formal approval by Transport Scotland of the proposed extension of the M9 junction at Burghmuir was placed on the council planning website today. There are conditions attached to the approval which will be enforced if the council approves the planning application for the whole development. Among them is one that states that no buildings can be occupied on the site until the junction extension has been completed. Another of the conditions states:''No part of the development shall be occupied until a comprehensive Travel Plan that sets out proposals for reducing dependency on the private car has been submitted and approved in writing by the planning authority, in consultation with Transport Scotland. In particular this Travel Plan shall identify measures to be implemented, the system of management, monitoring, review, reporting and the duration of the plan.”


November 1st 2012


  Comments on roads and traffic issues at Burghmuir by the transportation team leader, development planning, at West Lothian Council, Jim Stewart, have been placed on the Council planning website today. They are dated September 26th and they state in an email to the Burghmuir case officer that the transportation team does not object to the planning application for road and traffic reasons but they make strong criticisms of the location of the development and also emphasise the importance of the air quality issue, which is not part of the transportation team remit. They also lay down conditions which should be applied regarding increased bus services and the timing of the proposed new slipways at the M9 junction. The final paragraph of the comments states:  'Under sustainability and accessability considerations this site is not well situated. Parking at Linlithgow train station is currently oversubscribed leading to on street parking problems around the station. The proposed improvements to public transport are required from the first houses being occupied to provide alternative transport mode opportunity for the development area. However, given the location of the site increased movement by car to the rail station is likely to occur. There is ongoing parking pressure within Linlithgow town centre during the working day. Although there will be some retail facilities as part of the development there is also likely to be increased pressure on town centre parking for access to the town itself. Air quality issues already exist in sections of Linlithgow High Street, In terms of air quality It is also considered that during the working day traffic levels will be higher than they are currently but will be lower than the peak hour AM and PM levels. In traffic capacity terms the development can be accommodated off peak with the proposed mitigation. However, air quality issues must be fully addressed. As can be seen by the above conditions, the development proposals in terms of traffic levels can be mitigated and accommodated on the existing road network.'

     During the current month, it is expected that the retail impact analysis commissioned by the Council from an independent consultancy will be available as well as further information about the air quality issue. More information about the implications of the development for schools capacity is also anticipated. It is possible that either the retail data or the environmental data will require the Council to readvertise the planning application and seek further comments from the public before it goes to the full Council for a decision.

October 14th 2012


REGENT OWNERS SUBMIT OBJECTION


   The Learmonth Property Investment Company, which owns the Regent Centre, has written to the Development Management Manager of West Lothian Council 'to object in the strongest terms to the retail element' in the planning application at Burghmuir. Its letter contains a detailed analysis of the negative impact on existing retailers in Linlithgow if the proposed new supermarket were to be allowed to proceed. The full text of the letter is on the planning website of the Council , it has been placed here for your convenience


September 27th 2012


Civic Trust challenges Chamber of Commerce 


     The Board of West Lothian Chamber of Commerce wrote on September 17th to the Development Management Manager of West Lothian Council to express their support for the planning application to develop Burghmuir.  The chairman of Linlithgow Civic Trust, John Aitken, has written to the Board of West Lothian Chamber of Commerce urging them to reconsider their support. The following paragraphs are extracts from his letter.

   'I was horrified to read your letter to the Development Manager of West Lothian Council in support of Wallace Land's planning application for outline permission to develop Burghmuir, east of Linlithgow. Have you consulted local businesses on this issue?  Linlithgow Business Association (Chairman is David Tait) and Linlithgow High Street Traders Association (Chairman is Derek Pattle) have both considered this development and have submitted letters recommending refusal...

   'There is a planning process and we feel it should be respected. This development is entirely contrary to the current West Lothian Local Development Plan.  After the publication of the SESPlan, which removes the recommendation for restraint in Linlithgow, a new West Lothian Local Plan is currently in the process of being produced.  We feel that this is the correct process and that it should be followed.

   'We already have considerable problems in Linlithgow, including traffic congestion on the High Street, inadequate commuter and visitor parking, High Street traders finding it difficult to make a reasonable return.  We already have sufficient supermarket provision....

  'I urge you to reconsider your views on this important issue and to write to the Development Manager at West Lothian Council again, withdrawing your previous letter and proposing that the updated statutory Local Plan should be the process for incorporating suitable development in Linlithgow.'



September 26th 2012


Timing update 


    LASD was given the following information today by the planning case officer for Burghmuir. The application will not be reported to the planning committee in October because of a number of unresolved issues, including analysis of the retail impact assessment, the implications for air quality and the position regarding educational capacity, which need to be discussed and clarified with the applicants.

   

    It is not possible at the moment to say when the meetings are likely to be held. The applicants might be asked for further information on the issues of air quality and retail impact; if they are that information could lead to a requirement that the application is readvertised, which would give people the opportunity to comment on the new information.



September 13th


COUNCIL TO MEET


     The Council Planning Committee of West Lothian Council is expected to hold a meeting around the end of October to discuss the Burghmuir application. This is a special committee of which all 33 councillors are members. It last met on May 26th 2010. The meeting is described as a pre-determination hearing. It is open to members of the public and they, as well as the applicants, are entitled to request the right to address the meeting in order to object to or support the application. The Planning Committee meeting will be followed on the same day by a meeting of the West Lothian Council itself at which the decision will be taken on the application. In advance of the committee meeting and council meeting, all those who sent in comments on the application will be notified of the time and date of them. During the weeks before the meeting, there will also be further information and analyses available on key aspects of the application, including retail impact, transport and schools.


July 25th


SCOTTISH NATURAL HERITAGE OBJECTS


 Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has written to West Lothian Council to state its objections to the Burghmuir application. The full text of its critical comments can be accessed here. Its conclusion is as follows: 'This proposal is premature, represents poor place-making and is not a good example of sustainable development. It will also permanently diminish the experience of approaching Linlithgow from the east.' Update:  In September, SNH informed West Lothian Council that it was withdrawing this letter and providing a different one. The text of its second letter is on the council planning website. In it, SNH highlights the desirability of adhering to the Local Development Plan process and the importance of preserving the landscape and views at Burghmuir.


June 25th



Planning update


Following on the recommendation for refusal of the Burghmuir application by the Environmental Health department in West Lothian Council, Ross Burton, the case officer for the application, has informed LASD that it is open to Wallace Land to challenge the Environmental Health response regarding air quality analyses or to carry out the required additional research. Wallace Land are likely to ask for a meeting to discuss the issues once the transportation response is available as information on traffic flows is highly relevant to the air quality assessment.  Ross has asked for all outstanding responses to the application be sent to him by the end of June and hopes that all consultees will all be able to meet that deadline. Responses are being placed on the case file on the web as soon as they are received.

 

Ross has also stated that he is aware that there still remain some objections which have not been logged, as there still remains a backlog of items for scanning and logging. He is still contacting admin staff in County Buildings to ensure that all objections are properly logged and displayed on the website.



June 19th


ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH RECOMMENDS REJECTION


The Environmental Health department of West Lothian Council has recommended that the planning application for Burghmuir should be refused on the grounds of insufficient information on detailed local air quality impacts.


 In a letter to the planning department, it states: 'During the initial scoping consultation for the development Environmental Health raised concerns over the use of a screening model to adequately assess the potential impact the development will have on local air pollution within the Linlithgow High street.

 

'Our concerns at the time surround the use of baseline data particularly for the pollutants Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Particulates (PM10). The base line data taken from the permanent monitoring site in Linlithgow High Street was not considered worst case due to the station being in a relatively open site. Linlithgow also has worse air pollution within the areas of the High Street where canyon effects occur due to tall buildings and a relatively narrow street. We were not convinced that the screening model adequately addressed canyon effects and congestion effects on pollutant concentrations.


'Although concentrations of pollutants appear to have reduced in 2010 which resulted in a decision not to declare an AQMA for Linlithgow in 2011, new evidence suggests a greater problem with NO2 pollution than previous monitoring would have suggested. Current screening of NO2 in Linlithgow clearly indicates that pollution levels are significantly greater than would be indicated by the real time monitoring station. This could be due to the station not being in a worst case location. Early results indicate some of the highest readings recorded for NO2 diffusion tubes in West Lothian and similar to pollutant concentrations measured in the Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) within Broxburn.


'There is no doubt that pollution levels in Linlithgow are likely to warrant a full detailed assessment and potentially declaration of an AQMA in the near future. The development has the potential to adversely affect local air quality. It is therefore imperative that detailed dispersion modelling is available to have a better understanding of the potential impact the Burghmuir development will have on local air quality within Linlithgow.


Environmental Health would therefore require a detailed dispersion model for the pollutants NO2 and PM10 in order to fully assess the impact of the proposed development.'


April 27th


1,175 OBJECTIONS


    All of the public comments on the planning application by Wallace Land for its Burghmuir development proposals are now available for inspection at the offices of West Lothian Council, County Buildings, Linlithgow.

    If you are interested in seeing the file of comments, the application case officer, Ross Burton, has provided LASD with the following information: 'There is no need to contact the planning department in advance if you want to view them, but you should inform the receptionist at the public counter that most of the comments are kept behind the desk of the case officer, Ross Burton, but some remain unscanned and are held for the moment in the central admin room. All the comments can be brought out to the public counter, but you are asked to keep the unscanned letters separate from the ones which have been scanned when you return them.'

    A total of 1,235 comments on the planning application were sent to the Council.  Of these, 1175 were statements of objection and 60 were statements of support. It is believed that this is the largest number of individual objections to a planning application ever received by West Lothian Council.
    991 of all the comments received have so far been scanned and placed on the Council planning website.  The remaining 244 comments have yet to be scanned.
    Among the comments yet to be scanned are statements of objection from four neighbouring community councils - Bo'ness, Blackness, Philpstoun and Winchburgh - as well as a letter of objection from the Linlithgow MSP, Fiona Hyslop.
    The planning application should be reported to the full West Lothian Council at a meeting later this year. It is not expected that this will take place before October at the earliest.



April 7th


FALKIRK TO OPPOSE SUPERMARKET


The planning committee of Falkirk Council has voted to oppose the proposed supermarket at Burghmuir but to support in principle plans to extend the M9 junction. Falkirk's approval is not required for the supermarket because the planning application was made to West Lothian Council but it was consulted as a neighbouring authority. A report by its development services director highlighted the 'real concerns' about the impact of a Burghmuir supermarket on the vitality and viability of Bo'ness town centre. There is a report on the planning committee meeting on page 3 of the Linlithgow Gazette of April 6th.


March 28th


PLANNING UPDATE


Ross Burton, the case officer for the Wallace Land planning application at West Lothian Council, kindly provided the following information on March 28th:


There are more than 400 comments on the planning application website of West Lothian Council but no new ones have been put on it since March 21. Almost all of the comments on the website are objections.  There are estimated to be up to 1,000 (one thousand) comments still to be scanned and put on the website. They are working on this as a priority but have been delayed by staffing issues, due to illness and holidays.


The Council has received some consultation responses but still awaits others, including Falkirk Council which has said that its response will not be available until after the council elections in May. All consultation responses will be put on the website when received.


During the next few months, there will be a process under which the Council assesses the consultation responses and liaises with the consultees and also with Wallace Land, in order to ensure that all necessary information is provided to the Councillors when they meet to decide on the application. This will cover issues such as education, transport and the environment.


The very earliest that the Councillors meeting could be held is June but it is much more likely that it will take place in the autumn.


A planning application for extending the Tesco store and the car parking facilities at the Regent Centre was returned to the applicant because the size of it, including the car park, is more than 5,000 sq m which means that it is regarded as a major development and therefore there has to be a pre-application consultation process as was the case with Wallace Land planning application.



March 9th


DEADLINE

  

    More than 100 people attended the public meeting in the Burgh Halls on March 6th, which was arranged by Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council to discuss the proposals. The Linlithgow Gazette of March 9th has a full account of the meeting at which there was unanimous rejection of the development plans. Detail can be found here.

   The final deadline for written or emailed objections and comments to West Lothian Council on the Burghmuir planning application is Friday March 16th.


March 1st


OBJECTIONS


Objections and comments on the Burghmuir proposals are now available for inspection on the planning website of West Lothian Council. They include one which, in addition to a comprehensive analysis of the case against the development, also has some visualisations which provide an indication of the damaging impact which the proposals would have on the terrain and landscape at Burghmuir. The objection comment can be accessed here.



February 15th


PUBLIC MEETING MARCH 6th


        There will be a public meeting at 7 pm on Tuesday March 6th in the Burgh Halls to enable people to express their comments about the Wallace Land proposal for development at Burghmuir. It is organised by Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council and is open to all. There is no requirement to pre-book a place and there will be no formal speakers. The intention is to provide an opportunity for the Community Council to hear the views of residents before it submits its opinion on the planning application to West Lothian Council. The deadline for this submission is March 16th, the same as for members of the public. The Community Council is a statutory consultee under the planning legislation.


February 15th


TIME TO OBJECT

 

   The planning application by Wallace Land for a supermarket and other proposals on the Blackness road at Burghmuir has now been registered by West Lothian Council. The deadline for submitting objections to the application is March 16th. The full details of how to object are given in a leaflet which is going to be printed and distributed to every household in Linlithgow. The draft leaflet can be accessed on this link here


The link for the planning application is: here


All the associated documents are now on this website.

 

Objections can be sent by post or by email.


The most effective way to object is to write to:

The Development Management Manager, West Lothian Council, County Buildings, Linlithgow EH49

9EZ. 


Alternatively you can email - planning@westlothian.gov.uk

Your letter or email must include the phrase 'I object' or 'I wish to make an objection'. It must also include the planning application number which is 0095/P/12.


February 10th


Application submitted


   Wallace Land submitted its outline planning application for Burghmuir to West Lothian Council on February 3rd. It is now available for inspection at the council offices at County Buildings and is expected to be on the council's planning website during the week ending February 17th. It will be advertised on February 17th and the 28 day period for objections will begin on that day so the deadline for submitting objections is March 16th. 

    LASD is supporting an initiative by Linlithgow Civic Trust to deliver a leaflet to every household setting out the reasons why the proposals should not be accepted and explaining how objections can be submitted to the council. The initiative is also supported by Linlithgow Business Association, the High Street Traders' Forum and Transition Linlithgow.


December 7th 2011 


     This is an update on the planning process and timetable for the proposals for developing Burghmuir now that the public exhibition by Wallace Land has taken place. West Lothian Council will not accept comments and objections to these proposals as valid for consideration until a formal planning application has been lodged. The very earliest date this lodgment can be done is December 28th when the 12 week consultation period ends. In an email to LASD, Ross Burton, senior planning officer, Development Management, at West Lothian Council has stated that the decision on an application will be made by the full council of 32 members because it is 'significantly contrary to the Development Plan'.  He said that, because there is an environmental impact assessment, the period for comments and objections after the application is made will be extended to 28 days. He said the intention would then be to hold the full council meeting to decide on the application within a further three to four months. The following is the text of the email from Ross Burton: 'Most major applications can be determined at the planning committee, but applications which are significantly contrary to the Development Plan, such as the Burghmuir application, have to be reported to the full council. The application will therefore be determined by the full council.


November 29th 2011 


Magazine highlights campaign


  The latest issue of the Linlithgow magazine, 'Black Bitch' contains the following article on the case against a supermarket at Burghmuir by Nicholas Leonard, chairman of LASD:


         Plans for a major supermarket and housing development at Burghmuir on Blackness Road present a serious risk not only to the vitality of Linlithgow high street but also to the entire character of the burgh.

        The proposals by Wallace Land and Investment, which include 600 houses, a hotel and a care home, would effectively create a new suburb of Linlithgow. The approach to the burgh from the east, which has been carefully protected for many years by West Lothian Council, is widely regarded as one of the most attractive entrances to any town in Scotland. The new development would transform it for the worse into just another motorway service station area.

        It would also risk turning Linlithgow into a commuter suburb of Edinburgh and Glasgow. Wallace Land has proposed building new commercial space to provide employment but there is already ample available space at Oracle/Sun and elsewhere in and around the burgh.   

The development would greatly increase the amount of traffic on the roads. Traffic would inevitably be drawn eastwards through the crowded streets of the town centre and there would be problems with traffic entering and leaving the development onto Blackness Road, conflicting with traffic from and to Springfield. This is within a few hundred yards of the existing and proposed accesses onto the M9 and the busy A803 routes to South Queensferry and Bo’ness.

The road safety requirements must also be considered. It would clearly be unsafe for children from the proposed new homes to the north of Blackness Road to cross it without traffic lights or a pedestrian crossing and a school-time 20mph speed limit, as is typical for other areas.

Wallace Land has suggested that it would finance the cost of enlarging the junction of the M9. While the extra slipways could clearly have some benefits, one of the biggest beneficiaries would be Wallace Land itself since the sale and letting potential for its commercial developments on the site would be enhanced. But the most important question is whether a development of this kind is an appropriate way to pay for an extension of the junction, in view of the negative impact it would have on the burgh as a whole.

The future development of Linlithgow was considered in great detail in a public enquiry into the Local Development Plan for West Lothian which was finally adopted by the Council in 2008. Work on the next such plan is due to start in 2012. It is clearly premature to consider such a far-reaching proposal as Burghmuir before there has been a further detailed investigation of how Linlithgow as a whole should be developed in the years ahead. The proposals are contrary to the latest recommendations of the SESplan reporting process on how the whole of south east Scotland, including West Lothian, should be developed.

The new houses in the development would have major implications for schooling. The education officials at West Lothian Council have stated in a report that, because of the shortage of places at Linlithgow Academy, no new housing development in the burgh should be permitted.

With Tesco at the Regent Centre, Sainsburys and Aldi at Stockbridge and Spar at Springfield, Linlithgow is already well provided with supermarket facilities. A consultancy report prepared for West Lothian Council in 2008 said that, because of the existing stores, no new floorspace should be permitted.

It is important to realise that allowing a development such as Burghmuir would lead to intense pressure on the council from owners of other sites in and around Linlithgow to alter the planning guidelines in their favour as well. The floodgates would be opened and the pressure for more and more inappropriate construction would be relentless. The potential scale of this was vividly revealed when the Council asked for suggestions from landowners for sites that could be considered for inclusion in the next local plan. Proposals for almost 6,000 new homes were put forward as well as new out of town retail developments.

    Linlithgow is a very special and precious burgh. All those who live in it have a responsibility to do all that is possible to preserve its unique character in the interests of the current and future generations of inhabitants.

    If you wish to express an opinion on the proposals it is important to note that formal objections to them will not be accepted and registered by West Lothian Council until a formal planning application has been made.  Such an application cannot be submitted to the Council until after the 12-week consultation period which ends on December 28th.

Information about what is happening at Burghmuir can be found on the website of Linlithgow Against Supermarket Development: www. lasd.org.uk . The campaign can be contacted by email at campaign @ lasd.org.uk  or by post c/o Linlithgow Bookshop, 48 High Street, Linlithgow EH49 7AE.

 




August 26th 2011 


        It is now known that the telephone survey mentioned in the update of June 29th was conducted on behalf of Wallace Land. The company has had further discussions with various organisations in Linlithgow but has not yet notified West Lothian Council that it has begun the formal 12-week consultation process which has to be carried out before a planning application can be made.

     The Linlithgow Gazette of August 19th carried a report on Wallace Land and its proposals. On August 26th, the Gazette printed a letter from John Aitken, the chairman of Linlithgow Civic Trust. The following paragraphs are extracts from it:

      ‘In response to your front page article last week about the 1,500 "new" jobs that might arise from Wallace Land's proposed development, Linlithgow Civic Trust believes that this is a gross over-statement of what might actually happen.  Many of these possible jobs relate to the commercial development of the site next to Oracle, which is not part of Wallace Land's proposals.  In any case there is no shortage of commercial space, as Oracle has plenty, available now for leasing.  Lots of the "new" part time jobs created by an additional supermarket would probably be at the expense of full time jobs lost in the town centre.

      ‘Wallace Land's proposals hinge on a new supermarket and we are strongly opposed to this.  Linlithgow already has adequate retail provision and a new supermarket would have further negative impact on the town centre, which is already severely affected by the economic downturn.’


June 29th 2011


Market Research

 

Several residents of Linlithgow have this week received phone calls from a market research company which is probably acting for either Wallace Land or some other company interested in such a development. The questions appear to be designed to build up a case for an out of town supermarket or other store. The Wallace Land proposals last year included an offer to help finance an extension of the M9 junction to enable access towards Stirling and the research questions also cover this point.  Wallace Land has not submitted any planning application for its proposals and it cannot do so until it has carried out a formal 12-week consultation process wsith the community. So far as I know, this consultation period has not yet been initiated but the company's representatives have been holding informal discussions with various organisations in the Burgh as well as councillors and council planning managers.

THe following are the kind of questions which the market research company has been asking in its phone calls:

They asked questions about shopping habits, broken down to where, how much, how often, by what category.

They asked about main food shops and top-up shopping, and about transportation for getting to all both main and top-up shopping locations.

They asked if the main shopping was done on the way to do something else.

They asked about who was in the family and ages and jobs held (including part / full time)

They asked how many cars the family had.

They asked if a junction for westbound traffic at J3 of the M9 would be of real benefit to the town

They asked if it was important to bring jobs to Linlithgow.




June 8th 2011


SESPLAN draft available

 

    The latest draft of the SESplan regional plan for South East Scotland, including West Lothian, is now available and can be accessed at

http://www.sesplan.gov.uk/docs/130611/SESplan%20Joint%20Committee%20Agenda%20and%20Papers_130611_v2.pdf

The draft is in Appendix 1 of the papers for the board meeting to be held on June 13th. The papers also include comments on the representations received during the consultation process in 2010. The plan is an over-arching one and all representations which were site specific, such as those from Wallace Land for Burghmuir have therefore been ignored. The key decisions about matters such as housing and retail centres have all been deferred for detailed consideration in the various local plans which will be prepared when the final version of SESplan has been approved by all the councils involved. The SESplan draft broadly endorses current development policies.


May 12th 2011


SESplan update


The latest draft Proposed Plan for the South East Scotland region ('SESplan') is due to be published on their website,sesplan.gov.uk, around June 6th and will be considered at their board meeting on June 13th. The Proposed Plan will incorporate any amendments that have been made by SESplan following the representations during the consultation process on their Main Issues Report. It will therefore disclose whether the proposed over-arching plan for the region, including West Lothian, has been altered to reflect or accommodate the case put forward by Wallace Land for a supermarket, housing and other assets at Burghmuir. If the Proposed Plan is approved by the board on June 13th, it then has to be ratified by each of the six councils involved, including West Lothian, and this process is scheduled to be completed by October.


January 26th 2011


   Wallace Land made a presentation to a meeting of Linlithgow Community Council on December 14th 2010.  The following is an extract from the official minutes of the meeting:                  


       

The council and interested members present ... received an initial presentation (not part of any official consultation or planning application) with regard to a speculative development proposal by Wallace Land.  [Councillor Davis advised a personal ,non pre-judicial interest as a member of Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society and as a Life Member of Linlithgow Heritage Trust with regard to Heritage and Archaeological matters appertaining to  the sites proposed].

'The Developer proposed a scheme to build housing on land south of the Blackness Road and housing, a park and ride scheme, a 60 bed roomed hotel, a 130 bed roomed sheltered housing /nursing home and a 70, 000 sq ft retail store with appropriate storage, on land north of the Blackness Road. The development site would also include open public park space and a developer financed access road north and south bound off the M9 motorway, together with a Fitness/Dance facility, as a gift to the Burgh from the landowners.

Whilst the developer wished to promote the scheme he could not confirm that he was in ownership of all the land required, and he also stated that his firm would not be the actual developer of the various elements of the scheme. At this time the developer stated that he was trying to get the scheme included in a formal expression of interest in any forthcoming regional or local planning review process.

The developer and his Public Relations team including an educational advisor who used to work for West Lothian Council, then took a number of questions from councillors and those members of the general public present, with regard to points of observation regarding the overall shape and size of the development, its role in the landscape and the community. Serious  concerns were expressed by those present with regard both to the provision of current and future local school facilities

Council and the general public were thanked for attending the presentation by the developers, who stated they would take on board these informal observations together with the input they had already received from the local elected councillors, to whom a separate presentation had already been made.

'The Community Council did not present any official findings or make any official recommendations as this will be done when an official pre- planning application consultation for a major development, is properly advertised and conducted.



December 16th 2010 :


Presentation to Linlithgow Community Council


    Wallace Land gave a presentation to Linlithgow Community Council on December 14th at which it set out its proposals for developing a supermarket and other projects on Blackness Road between Oracle/Sun and the M9 junction.

    Summaries of the meeting have been written by John Aitken, chairman of Linlithgow Civic Trust, and Tony Oxbrow, a member of the LASD committee. Nick Davis, the secretary of the Community Council,  will be preparing minutes of the meeting. They will be put forward for approval at the next LCC meeting on January 13th and will then be publicly available.


    It is important to note that the presentation on December 14th was not part of any formal public consultation process which must take place before any planning application can be submitted.

    It appears likely that Wallace Land will not be making any formal planning application until the final SESplan report on the development of the entire South East Scotland region, including West Lothian, is agreed. SESplan is expected to issue a revised draft report in February and will then invite comments on it. This will effectively be the first formal opportunity for individuals and organisations to express views to a planning organisation on the proposals put forward by Wallace Land for Linlithgow in its submission to the SESplan consultation process.


WALLACE LAND meeting with Linlithgow Community Counci - December 14th 2010


Summary by John Aitken, chairman, Linlithgow Civic Trust


    I attended the Linlithgow Community Council meeting yesterday evening at which Wallace Land and their consultants described their plans for development to the east of Linlithgow.  Apart from 3 LCC councillors, the meeting was also attended by Chris Long, Jean Long, Tony Oxbrow, Mr Caddell the architect and the chair of the Linlithgow Bridge Community Council.

Nothing new was aired at the meeting.

    Their aim is to have the SES Plan changed to include development in Linlithgow instead of continuing "restraint".  This is what we proposed in The Vision, although the details are quite different.  If they are successful they will conduct studies, ask for the local Plan to include their ideas, consult with the people of Linlithgow and submit detailed plans for approval.  They do not intend to do the development themselves and do not own the land.

    The LCC presentation was NOT part of the public consultation process.

    The plans include:

1.A four-way junction with the M9 (LCT would support this aspect of the proposed development)

2.A retail food/non food store of 7,000 sq m net retail floor space (LCT believes that Linlithgow does not need another out of town supermarket)

3.A petrol station (this could be beneficial)

4.A car park with 400 retail spaces and 150 park and ride spaces

5.A residential care home with around 100 capacity

6.A 60 bed hotel - possibly a budget hotel, but Linlithgow may justify a higher quality establishment

7.A community park of about 2ha in size

8.A dance & Gymnastics Studio (this item is at the specific request of the land owners and is proposed to be located next to the proposed park)

9.Phase 1 involves around 175 houses, 25% being "affordable" with 70% of these being for rent. All are to the north of Blackness Road

It would appear that phase 1 (or possibly only the supermarket part of phase 1) would entirely pay for the upgraded M9 junction, costing £4 M - £5 M.

    Phase 2 involves more housing to the south of Blackness Road and to the east of the Kingsfield/Park Farm road - the total housing envisaged is 600 homes.

The commercial development of "Boghall East" and an area east of Oracle/Sun and along the M9 are included on the drawings but are not part of the proposal.

    Their "Education Consultant" said that Linlithgow's ageing population means that the 6 non-denominational primary school streams will become under-subscribed over time, with a risk of having to close a single stream primary school or reduce the capacity of a two stream primary school to a single stream.  Apparently there are only about 5.5 "streams" of kids entering primary school in Linlithgow at the minute.  This development would bring in more primary school age kids, who would go to Lowport and Springfield primaries and thus would avoid the need for closure.

As far as secondary schooling is concerned, their arguments were less credible.  The new Winchburgh secondary should eventually remove Winchburgh and Bridgend kids from Linlithgow Academy.  Because the Winchburgh development will now be slower than was originally expected, this process could take a very long time, with Linlithgow Academy remaining at around 1,300 pupils, agreed to be too many.  But the extra kids for Linlithgow Academy from this proposal would accelerate this move - reducing its size to around 1,000 pupils after the new Winchburgh secondary school is open.

The Community Council next meets on 13 January 2011 and has invited written comments.

****************************************************************************

Summary by Tony Oxbrow, member, LASD campaign committee

1.Wallace Land control some of the landspace required for the proposed development under what is known legally as a “Promotion Agreement” with current landowners. Apparently within that agreement  there are options for development (multiple??).

2. Progression of plan:

           1.Presentations to West Lothian Falkirk Councils- (undertaken or in progress)

  then 2. Presentations to individual members of Council- (as above)

  then 3. Presentations to local groups (as per meeting 14 Dec 2010)

  then 4. Local residents (eg Springfield residents) probably by personal

             visits/questionaire (to follow)

Only then would final plans be drawn up for presentation to Planning Authorities.

3. SES update plan anticipated mid 2011 for LDP end 2011

4. 40 hectares ~ 100 acres (for those who cannot do the maths!!)

5. Requirements  pending:-  Retail Capacity Survey- relates to ultimate store size-flexible currently, but likely to be approximately twice the size of current Tesco store (NB no substantive approaches ref actual stores yet)

6. Other Req. pend .:- Traffic survey. Environmental Impact Assessment. Business impact ( ? Presumably on High Street)

7. Slip Roads-early construction as development funding closely linked.

8. Timescales for build:- Jun2011 for SES then 2012 for Planning. 2013/4 start site work on first store then slip roads to M9 then Phase 1 houses (~175- 30% ‘affordable’ in phase1) and industrial park.

9. Education- complicated- currently Linlithgow has a 6 stream Primary system, this is expected to fall within three/four years thus freeing up space for chi8ldren for new development. Secondary reduction & replacement following soon after. Winchburgh development for 1000’s of houses NOT likely to be completed- probably no more than 500 in total anticipated. This could lead to (maybe) Linlithgow Academy becoming a ‘holding facility’ for Winchburgh secondary until a critical mass is achieved. BUT it was emphasised from the floor that council school roll numbers are known to be inaccurate so this type of ‘feed-through mechanism’ is admitted to being imprecise.

10. Retail unit sale promotes funding for slip roads; house sales (3-4 years hence) promotes further funding of development. Therefore the development is intended to be self-financing.

11. Build period- 6-8 years (presumably from 2013/4 through 202?-early)




December 13th 2010 :


Here is some further information about the meeting on Tuesday December 14th. The session is for Wallace Land to inform the Community Council about its proposals. It is not part of a formal 12 week pre application public consultation process. Members of the public who attend will be entitled to speak with the prior permission of the chair and they can also make written comments afterwards to the Community Council. But the meeting is not envisaged as a dialogue or debate between Wallace Land and members of the public.

 


December 12th 2010 :


Wallace Land is to give a presentation about its proposals at a meeting of Linlithgow Community Council which is being held in Low Port Primary School on the evening of Tuesday December 14th. There is an extraordinary general meeting of the Community Council at 7.30 pm and it is likely that the presentation by Wallace Land and its public relations advisers, Indigo, will start at about 7.45 pm. The meeting is open to the public.


October 24th 2010 :

Council releases Wallace Land proposals


West Lothian Council has now made available details of the proposals by Wallace Land for development at Burghmuir. Following a Freedom of Information Scotland request, the Council provided a CD containing numerous files of submissions by Geddes Consulting, planning advisers to Wallace Land, to the recent consultation process by SESplan on its planning for the whole South East Scotland region, including Linlithgow. The two detailed pages regarding Linlithgow are in the 'Proposals' section of this website.

If you would like a copy of the full submission, please email campaign@lasd.org.uk and the relevant file will be emailed back to you. All the submissions to Sesplan by Geddes and many other companies and organisations are expected to be publicly available on the official website, sesplan.gov.uk early in November.

While Wallace Land has retained Geddes Consulting as its planning advisers and Indigo of Edinburgh as its public relations advisers, it has not, as yet, so far as is known, initiated any discussions with any organisations in Linlithgow as part of a formal or informal consultation procedure ahead of making any formal planning application. It states in its submission that it wants to enter into a partnership deal with the Council and with Transport Scotland.


What next?


Under the new planning legislation which came into effect in 2009, a planning application for a major development such as that envisaged by Wallace Land at Burghmuir cannot be submitted to West Lothian Council until there has been a 12-week consultation process. This may take the form of an exhibition or other presentation by Wallace Land, or possibly a public meeting. This 12-week consultation process has not yet been initiated by Wallace Land. While awaiting the start of it, everyone who shares the view of the LASD campaign that it is contrary to the best interests of Linlithgow can help to promote awareness of the threats that it poses by discussing it with friends and neighbours and with planning executives and Councillors as well as representatives of influential organisations in the Burgh. It is worth noting that Councillors are debarred from voting on a planning application if they make any public statement about their opinion of it in advance of the council vote on it.

During the consultation process, individuals can write to planning executives or councillors expressing their views but formal objections cannot be lodged with and accepted by West Lothian Council until a formal planning application for the proposals has been submitted. Since, as explained above, such an application cannot be made until the 12-week consultation process, it is now evident that it wll not take place until some time in 2011.

Full information about what is happening will be available on this website. The LASD campaign committee will also take all possible steps to ensure that everyone in Linlithgow is fully aware of when and how they can help to support it.




October 15th 2010

 

GAZETTE HIGHLIGHTS CAMPAIGN

The Linlithgow Gazette of Friday October 15th carried a letter highlighting the decision by the LASD committee to oppose plans for a supermarket at Burghmuir near the M9 junction to the east of Linlithgow. Because of lack of space, the newspaper omitted part of the original letter. The full text which was submitted to it is as follows:
Sir, In June 2008, the Linlithgow Against Springfield Development campaign was formed, with very widespread support throughout the Burgh, in order to oppose the proposals for a supermarket on the Boghall East site on the south side of Blackness Road. No planning application for these proposals was ever lodged.
Now, however, new proposals for an out of town supermarket development at Burghmuir are being put forward by Wallace Land and Investment which will also pose a very serious threat to the best interests of all those who stay and work in Linlithgow or who come to visit it. These proposals would result in the creation of a large out of town suburb to the east of Linlithgow on agricultural land adjoining the M9. The first phase of the proposed development would be on the north side of Blackness Road between Sun Micro Systems and the M9 while the second phase would be on the south side of Blackness Road, stretching from the north eastern houses in the Springfield area as far as the M9.
It is clear that these proposals would seriously damage the viability and vitality of Linlithgow town centre. They are an equally serious threat to the entire ethos of the Burgh and they would destroy the approach from the east which has been carefully preserved by West Lothian Council and which is widely accepted as one of the most attractive entrance roads to any comparable town in Scotland.
Accordingly, the LASD committee has decided to change the name of its campaign to Linlithgow Against Supermarket Development to reflect its broader remit.
The proposals for the new development are likely to be greater in their implications for residents, traders, business people, traffic, education and the environment than any other planning application in the history of the Burgh. In fact, they could well prove to be the biggest single transformation of Linlithgow since the time of King James the First. Unfortunately, unlike his constructive initiatives after the disastrous fire of 1424, the consequences of the latest proposals would be extremely negative.
The site area covered by the proposals is more than 106 acres. It includes provision for a very large supermarket of 70,000 square feet, or almost two acres. This superstore would sell a large range of non-food items. We understand that Wallace Land has not signed any agreement with an operator of such a store but it appears probable that it is hoping to get Tesco to move from the Regent Centre. This would be a disastrous blow to the High Street.
The new superstore envisaged by Wallace Land, together with a petrol filling station and car park, would cover a land area of 9.5 acres. There would be 550 parking spaces, including 150 for park and ride facilities. Wallace Land also proposes a new hotel, a residential care home and, in two phases, a total of 600 new houses of which 150 would be social housing. There would also be a ‘community park’ area.
We understand that to try to persuade West Lothian Council to accept these extraordinarily damaging proposals, Wallace Land is indicating that it would finance the estimated £4 million cost of extending the M9 junction to enable access to the west and it is also suggesting that it would make a contribution to the cost of extending existing schools or building new ones.
Obviously, some of what Wallace Land proposes could be beneficial – a budget-price hotel, a care home, a park and ride facility and a four-way junction, as well as new office and industrial units are all suggestions which are worth serious consideration, although, in the short term, there is ample office and industrial space already available in the area. But the price to be paid by Linlithgow as a whole for such improvements is, in our opinion, an unacceptably high one in the form of a destructive new superstore and the building of hundreds of new houses which are likely to be mostly purchased by people working elsewhere and using Linlithgow as a dormitory and commuter suburb of Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is only the enormous scale of the profits to be made for the developers from the supermarket and new housing which enables them to offer such seemingly attractive ‘sweeteners’.
Linlithgow is a very special and precious Burgh. We have a responsibility to do all we can to preserve its unique character in the interests of our generation and of the generations who will live here in the future.
Yours etc, Nicholas Leonard, chair, Linlithgow Against Supermarket Development, PO Box 13573, Linlithgow EH49 9AA; email: campaign @ lasd.org.uk


Gazette reports new proposals - September 18th 2010


The Linlithgow Gazette of September 17 carries coverage of the proposals for the north side of Blackness Road. There is the following summary on its website and the full story is in the newspaper.
´¨A DEVELOPER is considering building a new supermarket, care home and hotel on land between Sun Microsystems and the M9.
Although at an early stage, the plans could bring dozens of jobs in the building phase, and then more when the new firms are open.

But some campaigners fear that the town will lose more than it will gain.¨´


New supermarket proposal on north side of Blackness Road - September 11th 2010


The following is the text of an email sent on September 11 2010 to the committee and supporters of LASD for their information.

Dear all,

I am writing to let you know that I believe that proposals have been put to the planning managers of West Lothian Council for a mixed use development, including an out of town supermarket, on the north side of Blackness road on the land between Sun Microsystems and the M9.

The promoter of the project is a company called Wallace Land and Investment Management Ltd which was incorporated in July 2009. It has a share capital of only 20,000 pounds. There are two shareholders who each own 50 per cent of the shares. One is Mr Jason Wallace and the other is a company called Granfit Holdings which makes building products and is controlled by Mr Robert Macdonald. Granfit is a company with net assets at the end of 2009, according to its accounts, of nearly 12 million pounds The directors of Wallace Land are Mr Wallace and Mr Macdonald. The registered offices of both Wallace Land and Granfit are at 10 Lennox Street, Edinburgh EH4.

I believe that Wallace is suggesting that, in addition to a supermarket, the mixed use development would include a care home and offices and possibly a petrol station. It is also proposing that it would put up the money to turn the M9 junction into a four-way, enabling traffic to go towards west towards Stirling.

Wallace has asked for a meeting with the three Linlithgow area councillors, Tom Kerr, Tom Conn and Martyn Day, to set out its proposals.

If it decides to go ahead with a planning application, it has to engage in a 12-week public consultation process before submitting an application.

I do not know whether these proposals have any connection with the previous proposals for a development at Boghall East but they do not appear to do so.

My personal view is that the potential threat to the viability and vitality of the High Street from an out of town supermarket would be a high, perhaps, excessive price to pay for the undoubted advantages of having a four-way junction. I also consider that Linlithgow does not need another supermarket but, clearly, the employment opportunities in the other proposed developments of offices and a care home would be very welcome.


Letters in Gazette - 3rd July 2009


The Linlithgow Gazette today, July 3rd, features the LASD campaign and also carries two well-argued letters criticisng the proposals by Morrisons for a supermarket and other developments at Boghall East.
Mrs Lorna Johnston of Preston Road writes: '...Keep developers at bay or we may wake up one morning and find it is too late.' Briony Williams of Rockville Grove says: 'This should be resisted by every Linlithgow resident who cares about the future of our town'.
It is important to note that objections to the scheme will not be formally accepted by West Lothian Council until a planning application has been made.


Gazette highlights LASD campaign - 29th June 2009


The Linlithgow Against Springfield Development campaign was highlighted in the Linlithgow Gazette on June 26th in its report on the Morrisons proposals. The url for the report is:
http://www.linlithgowgazette.co.uk/news/Morrisons-to-come-to-Linlithgow....


Morrisons proposals revealed - 20th June 2009


The Morrisons supermarket group has now emerged as a would-be operator of a supermarket on the Boghall East site on Blackness Road. It has informed West Lothian Council planning executives that it wishes to develop a 45,000-50,000 sq ft supermarket as well as a petrol filling station. It would also aim at getting other companies potentially to develop a hotel and/or small business units on the site. Morrisons told the Council that it intends to submit a planning application this summer.
The proposal by Morrisons to build a large supermarket and petrol station on Blackness Road would be extremely damaging to the best interests of all those who live or work in Linlithgow.
Such a development would transform the burgh into ‘Linlith-morrisons’ for everyone approaching from the east.
It would be extremely damaging to the vitality and viability of the town centre and would place the future of many independent traders seriously at risk.
The development is completely contrary to the West Lothian Local Plan.
As was shown conclusively by the recent report by Halcrow for West Lothian Council, Linlithgow already has sufficient supermarket capacity and any new store would have to take trade away from the existing retailers, thus placing many hundreds of existing jobs at risk.
Detailed environmental, traffic and retail assessments of the impact of the development will undoubtedly confirm that it is inappropriate and should not be granted planning permission


17th May 2009


The following update was circulated today to supporters of the LASD campaign.
TO SUPPORTERS OF LASD

I am writing to update you on the latest available information about the proposals to develop the Boghall East site on Blackness Road.
On June 12th, it will be a year since Kensington and Edinburgh Estates first publicly announced its proposals for developing a supermarket, hotel and care home on the site and 18 months since it first discussed its intentions with West Lothian Council planning officers.
No planning application has as yet been submitted for these proposals but Kensington and Edinburgh Estates continues to work towards making an application. Its agent, Ryden, sent the following email to Chris Norman, the Development Control manager at the Council, on May 11th 2009 in reply to an enquiry from him about the status of the proposals:
‘I'm sure you appreciate the current market is difficult at the moment for all developers, therefore our client is currently testing the market for operators that would be interested in the location as a precursor to an application.’
The Linlithgow Against Springfield Development campaign will continue to monitor closely what is happening so as to be able to react quickly as soon as any further proposals or a formal planning application are put forward for the site.
Thank you very much for your interest in and support for the Linlithgow Against Springfield Development campaign

Nicholas Leonard, chair, LASD


Gazette highlights LASD campaign  17th March 2009


The Linlithgow Gazette front page story in its edition of Friday March 6th highlights the importance of the Linlithgow Against Springfield Development campaign and the decision by Macdonald Estates not to pursue its preliminary interest in developing the Boghall East site as a result of the strong opposition in Linlithgow to the proposal for a supermarket. The Gazette refers to rumours that a health centre might also be proposed for the site.
The inclusion of a health centre would only increase the damage that would be caused to the viability of the town centre, since it would further reduce the number of people visiting the High Street. It would inevitably increase car use and traffic and be very inconvenient for the many residents who are within walking distance of the present health centre. An out of town health centre would also require a retail pharmacy alongside it and this would seriously threaten the two existing chemists shops in the High Street.
The story is on the Gazette website at
http://www.linlithgowgazette.co.uk/news/No-supermarket-wars-in-Linlithgo...
Kensington and Edinburgh Estates Ltd has not as yet submitted a planning application for the proposals which it presented in June 2008 and it told the Gazette that it was considering a ‘range of possibilities’ to complement a supermarket.
The LASD campaign will continue vigorously to oppose any proposals, such as an out of town supermarket, which would be contrary to the best interests of all who live and work in Linlithgow.


Council to decide on Local Plan 8th January 2009


The West Lothian Council Executive meeting on January 13th 2009 will be asked to give final, formal approval to the adoption of the West Lothian Local Plan, which allocates the land at Boghall East for campus-style offices, with a height restriction of 8 metres and buffer landscaping on all sides. A report by the Planning Services Manager to the Council Executive recommends adoption of the Plan. If this is confirmed, the Council will publish a further statutory notice and, if there is no legal challenge to its validity, it will be finally adopted six weeks after that.


K and E statement to Gazette 12th December 2008


The Linlithgow Gazette today, December 12, carries a full report of the recommendation of the Halcrow report that no further supermarkets should be permitted in Linlithgow. Under the heading ‘Enough’, the Gazette summarises the conclusions of the report, which was prepared by the consultants for West Lothian Council.
The Gazette quotes a spokesman for Kensington and Edinburgh Estates, who told them: ‘We shall be scrutinising in depth the findings of the West Lothian Retail Capacity carried out by the Halcrow Group in due course.
‘Clearly, as part of any planning submission, a retail impact assessment will be required to be carried out.
‘Kensington and Edinburgh Estates are working on their development proposals and shall be advancing with these at the appropriate opportunity’.
The Halcrow Report is a comprehensive piece of research which shows clearly that Kensington and Edinburgh Estates' proposals are completely unjustified and unwanted, in addition to being contrary to the West Lothian Local Plan.




Council report confirms case against supermarket 5th December 2008


An important report, commissioned by West Lothian Council, has confirmed that there is no case for building another supermarket in Linlithgow. The report, by the consultancy group, Halcrow, has been placed on the council website today at this url:

http://www.westlothian.gov.uk/media/downloaddoc/1799514/1841832/2075308

It will be available as a printed copy at County Buildings from Monday, December 8.

The report is 140 pages long and gives a detailed analysis of current and projected spending on convenience shopping.

It categorically states that 'no further floorspace opportunities should be permitted in Bathgate or Linlithgow'.

The following paras are particularly significant:

5.5.2 'Linlithgow is very well self-contained...' (page 44 of report)

6.1 on the importance of town centres (page 45)

10.1.6 'There will be no retail capacity in Linlithgow due to its satisfactory current retention levels...' (p 135)

10.2 'No further floorspace opportunities should be permitted in Bathgate or Linlithgow...' (p 137)

Kensington and Edinburgh Estates Ltd have been told that they must submit a retail impact assessment with any planning application they make. The Halcrow report provides important evidence to show how negative and undesirable are their proposals


Council rejects objections - 11th November 2008


The objections by Kensington and Edinburgh Estates to the inclusion in the West Lothian Local Plan of a height restriction of 8 metres on any building on the Boghall East site and to the requirement for full landscaping on all sides of the site were unanimously rejected, without any debate,at the meeting of the Council Executive today in West Lothian House, Livingston.

Colin Miller, the Local Plan Manager of the Council, told the meeting that he now hopes to have the Finalised Local Plan available for approval at the council executive meeting on January 13th 2009. That is a month earlier than he had previously expected.


Gazette website for latest letters - 1st November 2008


The two letters about Boghall East in the Linlithgow Gazette this week are now on its website at
http://www.linlithgowgazette.co.uk/custompages/custompage.aspx?SectionID...

More support from Gazette readers


31 October 2008


The Linlithgow Gazette today, October 31, has two letters criticising the proposals by Kensington and Edinburgh Estates Ltd for the Boghall East site and analysing the implications of the latest available information about the company’s intentions.


Update on objections by K and E - 27th October 2008


The objections by Kensington and Edinburgh Estates to the height restriction of 8 metres and to the requirement for landscaping on all sides of the Boghall East site were briefly discussed at a meeting of a West Lothian Council Panel on Monday October 27th, which I attended.
Colin Miller, the development planning manager of the Council, told the Partnership and Resources Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel that the objections should be rejected. The Panel is purely a discussion body and no vote was taken. None of the members of the Panel made any comment on the matter and none of them disagreed with the recommendation to reject the objections and uphold the height restriction and the landscaping requirement.
The decision about the objections will be taken at a meeting of the Council Executive at 10 am on Tuesday November 11th in West Lothian House, Livingston. Councillor Martyn Day will be at this meeting and comments on the objections can be sent to him.


Website for Gazette story October 24th 2008


The front page lead story about the campaign in the Linlithgow Gazette of October 24 is now on the newspaper website at this url


http://www.linlithgowgazette.co.uk/news/Campaign-fury-as-plans-change.46...


Gazette coverage - 24th October 2008


The front page lead in the Linlithgow Gazette today, Friday October 24, highlights our campaign and the reasons why we are strongly opposed to the plans by Kensington and Edinburgh Estates Ltd. The story mentions that K and E has objected to the height restriction of 8 metres on any building on the site. It is important to note that K and E has also objected to the requirement for buffer landscaping all around the site. These two points are expected to be decided by a full council meeting on November 11th. Letters urging the council to reject these two objections should be sent to Councillor Martyn Day at West Lothian Council, County Buildings, or by email to martyn.day@westlothian.gov.uk.
As stated by Councillor Day in the Gazette, objections to the planning application should not be sent to the council until the actual application has been submitted.


Urgent action needed - 21st October 2008


Kensington and Edinburgh Estates has yet to submit a formal planning application for the Boghall East site but its agent, Ryden, has informed the Council planning executive that it intends to apply for a supermarket of 50,000 sq ft and a 60-bedroom hotel. It appears to have dropped plans for a care home.
Meanwhile, it has lodged objections to the council against the inclusion in the Finalised West Lothian Local Plan of a height restriction of 8m on any building on the site and a requirement for buffer landscaping on all sides.
The planning executive of the council has recommended that these two objections should be rejected. The decision on the objections is expected to be taken at a full council meeting on November 11th .
However, before that, the objections will be discussed at a meeting of the Partnership and Resources Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel on Monday, October 27th. Councillor Martyn Day of Linlithgow is a member of this committee and everyone who wishes to oppose the K and E proposals for the site should write or email to him (martyn.day@westlothian.gov.uk) as soon as possible requesting the committee to turn down the objections.
The site is allocated in the local plan for campus-style office development. It was not open to Kensington and Edinburgh to object at this stage to that zoning, because it was in the local plan and not covered by the modifications arising from the public enquiry. The stated intentions of Kensington and Edinburgh Estates for the site are, of course, completely contrary to the local plan


Update on objection to height restriction and landscaping 24th September 2008


We now have more information about the objection recently submitted by Kensington and Edinburgh Estates Ltd to the council regarding the Boghall East site.
The objections which have been submitted to changes and modifications to the 2005 Finalised West Lothian Local Plan are not available on the internet site of West Lothian Council but they are held in hard copy files at County Buildings where they can be inspected by the public by prior arrangement.
Kensington and Edinburgh Estates Ltd has lodged an objection to the council’s acceptance of a modification of the Local Plan so as to impose a height restriction of 8 metres for any building on the Boghall East site and to require buffer landscaping on all sides of the site.
The full text of the objection is very short and is as follows:

‘Kensington and Edinburgh Estates Ltd objects to the proposed Modification. It is inappropriate for the local plan to specify detailed requirements in respect of building heights and landscaping in the absence of analysis as to the reasons for these restrictions. Height restrictions etc should not be specified in the local plan which have the effect of restricting the potential of the site and the viability of future development'.

There was, in fact, a full analysis about the need to preserve the character of the area in the report on the public enquiry to the council. Therefore, the objection by Kensington and Edinburgh Estates Ltd does not appear to have any chance whatsoever of succeeding. The argument that there can be nothing in a Local Plan which might restrict the ‘potential’ of a site and the ‘viability of future development’ could be used to remove any safeguard of any kind from any such plan. It is simply wrong to state that there was an ‘absence of analysis as to the reasons for these restrictions’.
The objection by K and E was the only one received relating to Boghall East. The meeting of the full council to consider it and the other objections has been tentatively scheduled for November 11, at 10 am in West Lothian House, Livingston, but there is a possibility it will be postponed.
Comments on the objection can be sent to individual councillors or to Colin Miller, the Development Planning Manager, West Lothian Council.
As for making verbal comments at the council meeting, the Committee Services department of West Lothian Council says: ‘The public can only participate at a council or committee meeting when they lodge a request for a deputation. If this is accepted then it gives them the right to address the committee concerned for five minutes and to answer any questions the councillors may have. If it relates to an item of business on the agenda then the request has to be with Committee Services by noon the day before the meeting. If it relates to an item of business which is not on the agenda then a week's notice is needed. It has to be in writing and should explain what the deputation is to be about. Most but not necessarily all requests will be out on the agenda and it is for the meeting to decide whether or not to hear the person concerned.’
The Council says that a 'deputation' does not have to be a group of people - it can be just one person.

K and E has told the council that it expects to announce a ‘substantial revision’ of its proposals for the site ‘towards the end of September’. As soon as it is known what these contain, the LASD campaign committee will meet and publicise its response to them. K and E has also informed the council that it does not anticipate submitting a planning application before the end of October.


Can you help distribute our newsletter? - 12th September 2008


The Linlithgow Against Springfield Development campaign committee has now prepared a newsletter which sets out the main reasons for rejecting the proposal by Kensington and Edinburgh Estates to build a supermarket, hotel and care home on the Boghall East site on Blackness Road. The newsletter is at the printers and will be available for distribution early in the week starting September 15th. We are printing 5,000 copies and hope to distribute them to as many households as possible. We will also be making copies available through shops and other town centre outlets.
David Bateman, who is a member of our campaign committee, is arranging the distribution and we would be very grateful for your help in delivering them. If you can help, even in a small way, with delivering the newsletter please contact him as soon as possible at
d.bateman@talktalk.net.
The newsletter is a single, folded sheet of A4 so no heavy transporting is required.
We have also been given important new information by the planning department of West Lothian Council. It has been told by the agents acting for Kensington and Edinburgh Estates that they are preparing ‘substantially revised proposals’ and intend to carry out a consultation exercise on them before submitting a planning application. They do not expect to make an application before the end of October. Meanwhile, they have lodged an objection to the Council’s decision to impose a height limit of 8 metres on any buildings on the site. This objection will be among the items on the agenda of a full meeting of the Council, not a development control committee meeting, and a date for this has been set for 10 am on Tuesday November 11th at West Lothian House in Livingston. This date is to be confirmed and may be altered.


Gazette readers attack plans 5th September 2008


September 5th - There has been a strong response to the invitation by the Linlithgow Gazette to readers to express their views on the proposed development by Kensington and Edinburgh Estates Ltd. More than half the letters page in the Gazette today is devoted to cogently argued criticisms of the proposals. The full text of these letters can also be read online on the Gazette’s website at
http://www.linlithgowgazette.co.uk/custompages/custompage.aspx?SectionID....
Here are some extracts:
From Alan Herd: The proposed development would be a complete disaster for Linlithgow….. There would be a polarisation within the town with the west being served by Stockbridge and the east by this development. The centre of town would go into steep decline. Further shops would close in the High Street with inevitable job losses resulting in a significant increase in the number of empty shops.’
From Maggie Gorman: ‘I believe the new development at the top end of Springfield would be a dreadful idea. Effort needs to be made to bring business into our High Street shops not take it away. I can only hope our local town planners, and councillors will see sense, and not make a decision that could empty our town.’
From John Heywood: ‘If this goes ahead, local, independent shops will close and be replaced by more charity shops, fast food outlets and ‘‘cheapo’’ dealers. More jobs will be lost than created and those that are created will be mainly low paid, low skilled and part time. Traffic through the High Street and Springfield will increase. There will be less sourcing of local products and therefore less support for the local (and Scottish) economy……’
From Jane Morison: ‘As a resident of Linlithgow for over 40 years I have watched as the beautiful town that I once knew is replaced by a busy, over-populated, traffic-congested mess.
The canal banks have been turned into a race track for cyclists, the Peel is used by youngsters as a drinking den and Linlithgow High Street (what’s left of it) is littered with cigarette ends and chewing gum.
It is time for the citizens of Linlithgow to say enough is enough and stop further unnecessary development, and stop the litter that the development will create…Good luck to all those citizens who have the time and energy to stop this development. Linlithgow will be a better place without it.’


Linlithgow Gazette highlights campaign - 1st September 2008


September 1st 2008 – The Linlithgow Gazette front page lead story on our campaign in its issue of Friday August 29th 2008 has attracted a great deal of interest. The Gazette has invited readers to email it with their opinions on the proposals for the site on Blackness Road and this is a valuable opportunity for everyone who is opposed to the developer’s intentions to express their views. You can email your opinion to editorial @ journalandgazette.co.uk. The news story can be read on the Linlithgow Gazette website at

http://www.linlithgowgazette.co.uk/news/Campaign-launched-to-fight-retai...


Campaign launch - 27th August 2008


August 27th 2008: This week we have formally announced the launch of the Linlithgow Against Springfield Development campaign. A press release has been sent to the Linlithgow Gazette, there will be an editorial article in the Linlithgow Arrow magazine's September issue and the September Newsletter of the Civic Trust contains coverage of the campaign together with an in-depth article by Tony Oxbrow, an LASD committee member, on the significance of the wildlife corridors which run through the Boghall East site on Blackness Road.
Kensington and Edinburgh Estates Ltd has not yet submitted a planning application for its proposals to West Lothian Council. The Council has formally told it that it must carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment and a Retail Assessment before it can submit an application. Objections to its proposals cannot be accepted and registered by the Council until an application has been made. The role of the campaign, therefore, at this stage, is to promote awareness of the implications of the proposals and to ensure that when an application is made or when there is any further statement about its intentions by Kensington and Edinburgh Estates, then appropriate action can be taken as quickly as possible.


Chairman's Blog - 23rd August 2008


The Linlithgow Against Springfield Development campaign has been given excellent support in the columns of the Linlithgow Gazette. The initial public meeting on June 24th was the subject of the front page lead in the issue of June 28th under the headline ‘Widespread opposition to development – RESIDENTS UP IN ARMS’.

In each issue since then, there have been cogent letters supporting the campaign. The LASD committee has also been sent copies of a number of letters which have been sent to the Gazette and have not yet been published.

Herewith some extracts from the letters published so far in the Gazette:

‘Further to the proposed supermarket development, Falkirk and West Lothian Green Party surveyed people in Linlithgow last Saturday and, guess what, found no call for a new supermarket. The developers don’t seem interested in local opinion on this…The majority of people we spoke to felt it could only have a negative impact on the High Street…’ Simon Glen, C-Convenor, Falkirk and West Lothian Green Party.

‘In the 21st century, wildlife diversity is strongly dependent on the existence of corridors and the linkages between them. In Linlithgow there is a narrow southern corridor along the canal and a wider northern one along the Loch, Bonnytoun, Sun Microsystems and onto the agricultural land to the east. Currently these two corridors are linked by one major route, from near St Michael’s Hospital, through the cricket club, along the parkland in the centre of the Springfield/Barons Hill district, across the Boghall East triangle, to join up with the more northerly corridor at the start of the agricultural belt. The development proposals from Kensington and Edinburgh Estates Limited threaten that link by replacing green space with asphalt, concrete and glass…’ Tony Oxbrow