Vocal opposition to plan for Edinburgh Road site

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Councillors this week approved another supermarket for Linlithgow.

The controversial application is for the site of the former JET petrol station on Edinburgh Road.

It shows a 12,000 sq ft retail unit with car parking, landscaping and a service yard.

Despite many objections the council’s development management committee 
approved the scheme which will mean changes to the bus stop and footpath outside the new shop.

The application was lodged by up-market housebuilder Mactaggart and Mickel.

A spokesman for the company said: “Given the current restrictions on building new homes in the area, we were keen to consider alternative uses for the vacant brownfield plot.

“We are speaking to 
potential tenants and are confident we will secure a quality retailer.”

A council spokesman said: “Each planning application is considered on its own merits and all recommendations are made after careful and robust assessment.”

The Journal and Gazette understands planning convener and local councillor Tom Kerr had to leave the meeting while deliberations on this application were made due to a conflict of interest.

Community councillors said the food retail development was ‘‘well outside the established Linlithgow town centre’’ and the proposal would be detrimental to trade on the High Street and the Regent Centre. They suggested it should become an overflow car park for rail commuters.

Linlithgow Civic Trust think the development will be detrimental to the ‘‘commercial vibrancy of the High Street’’ and question whether high-sided vehicles can get in for deliveries.

Linlithgow Business Association welcomed the ‘‘significant investment’’ but prefers an extended Regent Centre.

Dave du Feu, who lives opposite the site, commented that the best use would be a residential development.

He rejected the proposal to form an extra car park for Linlithgow Station saying that the cricket club car park is rarely full.

Edinburgh Road resident, Alan Brown, predicted an 
adverse effect on air quality and more traffic jams.

Colin Farquharson said planners should revitalise the High Street rather than allowing another unnecessary supermarket.

A 2004 application for 64 flats on the site was refused.