Permission to demolish Victoria Halls

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Linlithgow’s moribund and derelict Victoria Halls is to be razed to the ground to make way for 16 flats and two commercial units.

The move demolishes earlier plans by a voluntary Trust to develop the landmark Victorian building as a cinema or other community facility.

Last year saw arguments develop between owners and community volunteers over how the site should be used.

The Trust’s Facebook page has not been updated since July, and a former volunteer at a contact number listed for the group said she was no longer involved or aware of any of its members’ plans.

Owner Montreal Property has been given conservation area consent to demolish the building and planning permission for the erection of a mixed use development, comprising two commercial units and 16 flats.

A spokesperson for West Lothian Council said: “The building has been empty for many years. The condition has continued to deteriorate and is having a negative impact upon the character and appearance of the conservation area. The rear portion of the building was demolished in 2008 and planning permission has now been granted to demolish the remaining front portion – which is unlisted.”

The building was subject to a Dangerous Buildings Notice issued by the council in 2008.

This led to an application to demolish the building and redevelop the site for retail and leisure use.

The council spokesperson added: “The design is considered to be an acceptable replacement within the Linlithgow Palace and High Street conservation area.

“Several representations made the suggestion that the building should be developed for community use.

“Had an application for such a use been submitted, it would have been given due consideration.

“That is not, however, what is proposed in the application.”

Built in 1889 as a community hall, the building has also been a cinema and amusement arcade, but finally shut down in the 1990s.