Talks held over ‘hideous’ site

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Housebuilders at a prominent site on Linlithgow High Street are weighing up their options for the final phase of development.

McCarthy and Stone’s Templars Court project was hit with an insurance snag last year before a survey this spring revealed rock underground where the old bus depot used to be would make it “very unlikely” to complete the five flats and two retail units at the front of the development.

The gap, which is opposite The Cross, has been described as “hideous” and an “eyesore” by campaigners.

The firm met with councillors last week to discuss plans for the site. It has also spoken with residents who are believed to be fed up with the situation.

One of the options being explored is to landscape the site and hold a public consultation over what could go in place of the flats and retail units. But it will likely be next summer before work is completed.

Regional Managing Director for McCarthy & Stone, Jonathan Fair, said: “We’re currently reviewing alternative solutions to develop the remainder of our site at Templars Court.

“As a priority we are consulting with those affected, including our existing residents, to discuss potential improvements to enhance the look of the area. We do not have any preferred plans at this stage, but will provide more information once it becomes available.”

A spokesperson for West Lothian Council commented: “The council is keen to see the early completion of this prominent gap site in the town centre and will work with the developer to ensure that all options for the completion of the site in accordance with the approved plans are explored.”

McCarthy & Stone was granted planning permission to build the retirement development on the site and began work in 2014. As part of phase 1 they built 36 retirement living apartments for the over 60s, alongside landscaped gardens and car parking which is completed.