Planning in place for Linlithgow eye-sore

Work on the high Street building could start soon as the planning application is close to be ing submitted according to owners montreal Property
Work on the high Street building could start soon as the planning application is close to be ing submitted according to owners montreal Property

The future of one of Linlithgow’s biggest eyesores could finally be decided as the owners are ready to submit a planning application.

Montreal Property Ltd is submitting a planning application to West Lothian Council this week and has outlined its plans to transform the building.

The group had previously withdrawn an application earlier this year but is now ready to submit its final plan.

John Cortellessa, a property developer and director of Montreal Property Ltd, said: “We are in the final minute of the final hour with our planning.

“We withdrew our original plan in April so we could work closely with planners to ensure we changed the Victoria Hall to something that best suited the town.”

The plans for the building include commercial use of the ground floor and retirement flats being built above.

John said: “We are 100 per cent confident these plans will be given the go ahead by the council, meaning the issue of the Victoria Hall can be firmly put to bed and building can get underway.”

The Linlithgow Victoria Hall Trust has strived to find a use for the building that the community can benefit from.

However, John questioned its attempts to try and find funders for the project.

He said: “How can they ask people for money to help them design a building they do not own.

“It makes no sense to me. We own the building, they do not.”

Trust chairman Martyn Wade said the community is strongly behind its vision of a community hub for Linlithgow. He said: “The trust has incredible support from members of the public.

“Our main aim is to see these buildings, which have been left empty for far too long, changed into something of use for the town.”

The Trust had a feasibility study carried out which envisaged the Victoria Hall could become a theatre with an arts room as well as flats and retail units.

Martyn said: “We have been looking at a variety of routes and seeing what would be the most appropriate way to make our dream a reality.

“It will be interesting to see what happens with the planning application.

“Communication has been poor between the owners and the town so hopefully that will change.”