Bo’ness foreshore regeneration might not start for over a decade

Boness foreshore
Boness foreshore

THE BO’NESS foreshore regeneration scheme may not be revitalised until post-2024, if a proposed local development plan (LDP) for the Falkirk area gets approval.

But there would be no constraints on the project being brought forward sooner, if there is market interest and a willing developer.

As a default position, post-2024 is earmarked for securing a foreshore development partner, agreeing and progressing a masterplan.

A £170m ING harbour and foreshore regeneration scheme was scrapped by councillors in 2011, after the developer pulled out due to the global economic downturn.

Members agreed then to a fresh report on regeneration opportunities, to remarket the scheme when the economy significantly picked up.

Labour Councillor Adrian Mahoney said this week Bo’ness lacked new-build homes, but pointed to a very flat current market, and said it was difficult to speculate.

Other sites with planning approval and without the foreshore’s geological issues, hadn’t yet been built on, he added.

SNP Councillor Sandy Turner said post-2024 was probably “fairly realistic” in the current economic climate, for a brownfield site which wasn’t the easiest to market. A developer would be welcomed with open arms, he added.

On March 6 a full meeting of Falkirk Council will be asked to approve, and put out for public consultation, a proposed LDP which would shape land use and development district-wide from 2014 to 2034.

Themes like housing growth, town centres and retailing, business, tourism, plus the green belt are covered.

The overarching vision centres on ‘thriving communities’, a ‘growing economy’ plus a ‘sustainable place’. Action steps to implement the strategy in the first 10 years are also highlighted. A version of the LDP was initially approved at Monday’s economic strategy and development committee. Proposed 20-year measures also include:

nA focus of new housing growth to the south-east of Bo’ness, via Drum Farm’s remaining phases, and an extra site at Kinglass Farm

nNew food shopping to be a priority for Bo’ness town centre

nRefusal of any developments which would ‘significantly undermine’ the retail/leisure/cultural hub role of district centres like Bo’ness

nM9 Junction 3 west-facing slip construction near Linlithgow

nContinued promotion of the Whitecross mixed use development

nWaste water treatment works upgrades in Bo’ness and Whitecross

nWork on the John Muir trail between Bo’ness and Blackness

nKinneil Estate and Muiravonside visitor facilities’ development and woodland management

LDP reviews would be held at least every five years and every two years for the action programme.