The fence that separates the Rose Garden from Market Lane will be replaced after claims the tourist attraction has been cut off from the local community.
Linlithgow’s town management group approved £8000 funding on Wednesday to replace the wooden fence separating the garden from Market Lane with a more attractive black open railing with a traditional spiked top.
The wooden gate has proved controversial, as some local residents feel the garden is not accessible and is one of the town’s star attractions.
At the meeting, John Aitken of Linlithgow Civic Trust said: “The Rose Garden is not part of the Burgh Halls building and it should be an asset for the town. It should be more accessible to the public and it’s not attractive.”
Linlithgow councillor Tom Kerr explained that the Rose Garden had been handed over to West Lothian Council from Historic Scotland at the time of the £5.4 million refurbishment of the Burgh Halls, and the fence was put up to distinguish between land belonging to the local authority and the Peel owners.
He also said the licensing revenue brought in by the Burgh Halls was essential for the business, and for this reason the garden needed to be locked off for events such as weddings. But the Civic Trust and Burgh Beautiful rejected the notion that the issue was to do with licensing but was rather to do with community use.
John Aitken added: “It needs to be locked so there won’t be access 24/7 but it should be more than 0/7. It should be unlocked when the Peel gates are unlocked.”
Councillor Tom Conn pointed out that the garden can be accessed by the Kirk Gate but agreed to look into having the gate open during daylight hours and into improving the appearance of the garden itself.