From our postbag


Tank track doubts

Sir, – I read your article on Duntarvie Castle “tank track” and noted Mr Jamieson’s disappointment on behalf of Newton Community Council.

I, through a planning consultant, submitted my objections on September 17, 2012, and my wife attended the planning committee meeting on March 27 where she gave a further oral submission backing the planning officer’s recommendation to refuse planning permission.

Newton Community Council was not represented at this meeting where it could have voiced its concerns and it was intimated then that they failed to attend an on site demonstration.

I have great reservations as to the castle ever being restored by Mr Nicholsby. Indeed he has managed to demolish the east tower leaving it even more of a ruin now than when he bought it 22 years ago.

However, now planning permission has been granted for this “ idiotic” scheme, I look forward to seeing the castle fully restored in six years time. I will NOT hold my breath! – Yours etc.,


Duntarvie Farm


Drew’s ill-informed!

Sir, – Re Drew McAdam’s ill-informed rant: Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue is not the oldest municipal fire brigade in the country.

James Braidwood founded the Edinburgh Fire Establishment in 1824.

Some time later, that became the Edinburgh Fire Brigade. During the Second World War, that brigade, along with every other in Great Britain, became part of the National Fire Service.

In 1947, the South Eastern Fire Brigade was created. In 1975, Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade took over most but not all of the same geographical area.

That body provided fire services for the regional council areas of Lothian Region and Borders Region. Those councils disappeared in 1996, after just 21 years.

In 2006, Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade became Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service so Drew’s T-shirt is at most seven years old.

And ... the latest in this long series of changes has not been brought about by faceless bureaucrats and bean-pushers. Rather, it was brought about by an Act of the Scottish Parliament voted in by a group of democratically elected people most of whom you will know. - Yours etc.,


sent by email

Unfairly blamed

Sir, – While I have no desire to be an apologist for any council planning department, it seems unfair to attach blame where it is undeserved.

Therefore, perhaps I could set the record straight regarding the house currently under construction at Parkhead mentioned by two correspondents in last week’s Journal and Gazette?

Planning permission in this instance was, in fact, granted, in a majority decision, by a committee of councillors, who exercised their right to over-rule the planners’ recommendation for refusal.

Full details, including the planners’ strongly worded report to committee, are available on West Lothian Council’s website - The reference for this planning application is 0610/P/11.

It will perhaps surprise no-one that the five councillors who voted for approval all represent areas outside the town. – Yours etc.,


Rivaldsgreen Crescent,