Worries over destruction of natural habitat in Linlithgow

Residents are highlighting the threat to wildlife
Residents are highlighting the threat to wildlife

Residents living near the Preston Field area of Linlithgow are highlighting their concerns for native wildlife due to the threat of a housing development on the site.

The area has been earmarked for a potential 60 houses as part of the Local Development Plan and locals are up in arms about the prospect that any development could disrupt natural habitats for bats and badgers.

Expert analysis showed the area was full of bat activity and was home to a “shy species” known as Myotis Naterreri.

Residents also pointed out that a British Waterways survey noted the field was used by a big group of badgers. The survey backs up residents recent sightings and shows the lower part of Preston Farm Field near the canal - most at risk from housing - is where badgers feed and travel through.

Campaigner Si Whitworth said: “There are plenty of other sites available that badgers and bats don’t call home, but shouldn’t we be protecting them regardless?

“The species assessments have been sent to the council. I hope they listen and follow their own rules.”

The draft Local Development Plan is currently out for public consultation and there have been a number of events arranged to submit comments.

A spokesperson for West Lothian Council said any impact for the natural and physical environment would be noted and the council would take all comments into consideration before a final plan was submitted to the Scottish Government’s Directorate of Environment and Planning Appeals.

The deadline for comments at the public consultation stage is Sunday, November 22 and a final decision on the content of the final plan to be approved by the council is expected late next year or early 2017.

Linlithgow Planning Forum is hosting an exhibition in the Low Port Centre on Tuesday, November 17 between 10am and 8pm and all comments received at the event will be sent to West Lothian Council before the deadline for representations on Sunday, November 22.

For more information on the event visit llbcc.org.uk/planning.