School numbers fear scuppers Linlithgow flats plan

editorial image

Developers have been told to rethink plans to build 48 flats in Linlithgow because schools cannot take the influx of new pupils.

Mactaggart and Mickel have owned the Edinburgh Road site – a former petrol station – for ten years. They submitted proposals for a mixed development of two, three and four bedroom flats in four storey blocks.

The site borders Edinburgh Road and the railway line. Planning officers recommended refusal on the grounds that, while the design was good quality, its scale was not in keeping with the surrounding area.

The potential impact on surrounding primary and secondary schools – Lowport Primary would not be able to accommodate extra intake and Linlithgow Academy is at capacity-was of greater concern to planners and councillors.

A planned new secondary for Winchburgh is not scheduled to open until 2022 and funding for it has yet to be finalised.

Liz Hamilton from Mactaggart and Mickel told West Lothian Council’s Development Management committee the firm would like permission so it could slot the development into its building programme and would be happy to wait until school provision was in place before starting building work.

Councillor Willie Boyle praised the firm for a “very credible design” adding: “The site is crying out for a tidy up.”

But Linlithgow councillor David Tait agreed with comments from officials and fellow councillors: “The plan appears to be premature. I don’t think the timing is right.”

Stuart Sommerville , Local Democracy Reporting Service