PLANNING wars have been waged this week with a surprise move by controversial Burghmuir developers Wallace Land.
The developers lodged one of West Lothian’s most contentious planning applications for the outskirts of Linlithgow, including 600 homes, a supermarket, a care home and a hotel, last year.
But this week, Wallace Land squared up against developers Gladman Developments, who floated proposals for 195 houses on Clarendon Farm last month, by submitting a new plan to build up to 200 homes on the south of the Burghmuir site to council planners.
A Wallace Land spokesman said this latest move was hot on the heels of Gladman’s plans for Clarendon, adding: “Wallace Land wants the council to have a choice in a future determination of any planning application in Linlithgow and it has selected this part of the larger Burghmuir development to provide the council with a comparison and choice.”
He added that Wallace Land would hold a public exhibition on the most recent plan.
The original £90m Wallace Land development plan for Burghmuir promises new M9 slips, a neighbourhood centre, a supermarket and petrol station, hotel, a residential care home, and up to 1500 jobs on site, but the earliest date a decision can be made on the plans by West Lothian Council is March 20.
This new application will run alongside the original Burghmuir plan, but some people think the 200 house proposal viewed in isolation could cast the developers in a more favourable light with community groups.
Iain Paton at Linlithgow Civic Trust, said: “The new proposal for 200 houses removes the threat to the town centre posed by the superstore and should be considered on its merits, as for Clarendon. It is very difficult to see how the case for the larger development of 600 houses and a superstore at Burghmuir can be maintained by this contradictory proposal, which seems to anticipate the refusal of what is on the table at the moment.”
But he added the flurry of recent planning applications should be filtered through the Local Development Plan, currently being formulated for the town.
Nicholas Leonard, chair of Linlithgow Against Supermarket Development, added: “The best way to consider the future of Linlithgow is to look at what is in the best interests of the burgh as a whole through consultations on the new Local Development Plan and not through setting up one-off planning permission competitions.”
On January 11, the Journal and Gazette revealed Gladman’s plans for 195 houses and local facilities at Clarendon Farm.
This week, a Gladman spokeswoman confirmed they would submit a formal planning application for the site after Easter, and a public exhibition on the plans will be held on March 19, from 8.30am-8pm at the Low Port Centre.
She added: “The exhibition will give the community the opportunity to offer their views and what community facilities they would like to see to accompany the development.
“The Clarendon Farm proposal provides a highly sustainable development which will be considered on its individual merits by the council and the people of Linlithgow.”
She added that they would not make any comment on the new Burghmuir plans.
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