Council urged to support West Lothian development to address housing emergency

05/06/2024
An artists impression of the West Lothian development

WEST Lothian Council is being urged to give support to Drumshoreland Garden Community, a proposed low carbon community, to help it address its recently declared housing emergency.

The ambitious £275 million residential-led mixed-use development is situated at the Clapperton poultry farm complex, located east of Livingston, and is owned and being brought forward for development by Amber REI (Agriculture) Ltd.

Comprising a vibrant sustainable development of 108 hectares, around 1,800 homes – including over 26 per cent affordable homes (472) – are proposed. These will be brought forward by Elan Homes (Scotland) Ltd, a sister company of the site owners.

An application for planning permission in principle (PPiP) for the development was submitted in February 2021 to West Lothian Council, and appealed in November 2021 to the Scottish Ministers, following a failure by the Council to determine it within a statutory four-month period.  

Amber REI (Agriculture) Ltd has now written to the chief and depute chief executive of West Lothian Council, urging it to reverse its opposition to the development, and to indicate to Scottish Ministers that they would be content to support approval of the application. This acknowledges the significant contribution it could make to delivering housing in West Lothian, with front end delivery of the affordable element secured by legal agreement.

With a small number of residential properties in the local area, and in contrast to other sites across West Lothian simply not delivering housing due to current economic conditions, the site at Drumshoreland is highly deliverable.

A wide range of house types, sizes and tenures will be provided, including affordable housing, with the aim of providing a genuine range and choice, establishing a mixed, diverse community from the outset.

Positive discussions have already been held with a registered social landlord, Almond Housing Association, with respect to the early planning and ultimate delivery of affordable housing, as well as with Veterans Housing Scotland for some veteran housing on the site.

West Lothian Council housing department has around 1,400 homeless cases, an average of 350 new applications each month and the waiting list sits at just under 12,000.

The site is also set to deliver employment, education and community facilities, including a new primary school located in a unique parkland setting.  It is also proposed to accommodate on-site renewable energy generation and storage, enhancing its sustainable/net-zero credentials.

Commenting on its call to West Lothian Council, a spokesperson for Amber REI (Agriculture) said:

“Drumshoreland Garden Community provides a fabulous opportunity to assist in tackling West Lothian Council’s recently declared housing emergency.

“We would urge it to reverse its opposition and indicate to the Scottish Ministers that they would be content to support approval of this low carbon community, acknowledging the significant contribution it could make to delivering housing, both affordable and market, in West Lothian.

“In addition to housing, the development will also deliver employment, education and community facilities, all located in a unique parkland setting.”

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