Bright new future for The Vennel

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An unique opportunity to improve The Vennel area is being explored by West Lothian Council.

Plans are being drafted to completely redevelop the site on the north side of Linlithgow High Street, which could include commercial and retail opportunities, tourism facilities and community and outdoor space.

The proposal comes as the council plans to open the new £4 million Linlithgow Partnership Centre later this year.

Services – such as the library and public toilets – will move into the new facility in the former county council buildings, meaning a number of properties at the Vennel will become surplus to council requirements.

This presents an opportunity to look at how to improve the development scheme, which was built in the 1960s.

Improving the access between the Loch, High Street and The Cross and disabled, multi-user access is also being explored.

At the moment it is only at draft planning stage but an eight-week public consultation is to be carried out in coming months before the proposal is finalised.

Linlithgow Provost Tom Kerr said: “This is something I have always thought has been one of the most hideous areas in the town. I fully support this planning brief. I would encourage members of the community if they have any comment to get them into the council.”

A council spokesman said: “The planning guidance sets out potential town centre uses which could contribute to the vitality and wellbeing of Linlithgow and may comprise a mixed-use development.

“Potential uses include: commercial/retail, tourism facilities, office/business/small workshops, community events, outdoor space and residential, subject to infrastructure being available.

“The re-use of this central site and this significant investment in Linlithgow town centre will provide a rare opportunity to harness improvements to urban design, townscape and landscape within this significant location at the heart of historic Linlithgow.”