Linlithgow park path plans latest

Wild tales are circulating about how much of Lady Park in Linlithgow will pass into council ownership.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 6:00 am
Linlithgow Loch. Photo by Stuart Sommerville.

The town’s Local Area Committee heard this week that a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) application is being progressed to enable West Lothian Council to renew a section of the path around the loch.

The existing path on the fringe of the loch at Lady Park was identified two years ago as needing replaced because of erosion. The council won planning permission for controversial proposal to build a new path away from the water’s edge, taking in a new route into the park which is currently leased for grazing.

Since then social media has carried spurious claims, including suggestions that all of Lady Park was to be developed for housing. These have been dismissed as nonsense, but questions remain about how much of the park will be taken up to provide space for the new path.

Councillor David Tait asked at the LAC: “Is it possible to say how much is being taken up? People are talking about as much as a third of the field being taken up.”

Provost, Tom Kerr told the LAC that he did not think the amount of land needed was as much as had been suggested by local rumour.

Planners told a meeting of the council’s Environment Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel (PDSP) last September that a strip of land 16ft wide would be used to accommodate the path.

The width of the path itself was reduced from an initial plan of around 10ft to just over 6ft. This is the minimum required for the path to be adopted and maintained by the council.

The council also plans to install a stock proof fence and provide more hedging. However this has done little to assuage opponents of the plan, including current tenants.

Countryside manager Andy Johnston told the local area committee meeting on Tuesday morning that the CPO was currently with the council’s Legal Services department.

He added: “It is anticipated the final application will be submitted to Scottish Government by the end of May.

"If there are no legal challenges it is anticipated that acquisition be complete by the end of 2021. This would allow path upgrade to be programmed for Spring/Summer 2022.”