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THE village of Winchburgh is set for economic expansion as the countdown to over 3400 new homes begins.

Described this week as a “great Christmas present”, West Lothian Council has granted planning permission for a major 352ha development that also includes a new M9 motorway junction, a new secondary school campus, new primary schools, a new town centre, land for a partnership centre, restoration of the former Auldcathie landfill site and a new railway station, if approved by Transport Scotland.

Development is estimated to take 15 years and will create thousands of local jobs. Work will now start in 2012 after years of deliberation.

Planning consultant Peter Allan from PPCA Ltd, agents for applicants Cala Land Investments Ltd, said: “We are absolutely delighted. This has taken a long time - we put the application in in 2004 and a lot has changed in the planning process since then. Now it is just a question of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. We’re at advanced discussions with builders and we’re nearly there.”

For more see the Journal and Gazette out on Friday, December 23.