Residents’ fury over plans

Glendevon Pond, Winchburgh
Glendevon Pond, Winchburgh

A furious row has broken out between residents in Winchburgh, West Lothian Council and Stewart Milne Homes.

The builders have submitted plans to West Lothian Council for a 37-home development on land at Glendevon Farm and Steading, which residents claim breaches a development masterplan originally adopted and agreed by the council in 2010.

They claim it will destroy a much-used community amenity, comprising a country walk which leads to a nature pond.

Feelings in the village are now at an all-time high, partly because the plans have not been available to view on the council’s website.

Allegations have also been made that the planning proposal was not advertised by the council and, consequently, the closing date for comments to be registered of November 25 was insufficient given the lack of consultation.

Margaret Russell, a resident living in one of the farm cottages beside the proposed development, said: “This new planning application flies in the face of the master plan which had previously been agreed after lengthy consultation with the community.

‘‘If the plans are accepted, then it will destroy a much-used local amenity.

“We are urging all locals to get behind the petition already running and to make representations to the council.”

West Lothian Council said: “The plans for the new proposals were advertised in line with current requirements within the Journal and Gazette on November 8.

‘‘The steading development has planning consent granted for 32 housing units with vehicular access originally via the Miller Homes site.

‘‘These new plans have changed that, to the extent they now include an additional five properties and access via the farm track.”

A meeting, which took place in Winchburgh Community Centre on November 20 was so well attended that extra seating had to be found.

The main objections to the new plans are that the original planning consent granted in 2010 did not permit access for traffic over the farm track to the steading.

The community council has requested the period for objections to be lodged – originally November 25 – be extended to December 6.

Winchburgh councillor Janet Campbell has written to the council emphasising the importance of allowing the community proper time to make their concerns known.

Raymond McCabe, chairman of the community council, said: “The community is polarised in its opinion that the plans should be rejected.

‘‘The developers are ignoring us despite promises to be more transparent and consult with us over any amendments.

“We’re not asking for much, simply to be consulted in order that our opinions can be taken into account, just as they were when the master-plan for the area was being developed.”

Winchburgh Community Council has started a petition which, at the time of going to press, contained over 500 signatures against the plans.