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Sun June 20 2021

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Plans go in for £275m low-carbon development in West Lothian

2 Mar Proposals have been submitted to West Lothian Council for a £275m mixed-use development.

The plan is to build the 108-hectare Drumshoreland Garden Community on the site of the current Clapperton poultry farm complex, located east of Livingston.

The development is intended to include open-market and affordable housing along with employment, educational and other community facilities.  The development would be located within a new parkland setting that includes 19.9ha of ancient woodland being given over to public access.

Two applications for planning permission in principle (PPiP) have been submitted to West Lothian Council, aiming to establish the principle of development on the site.  A PPiP application has been submitted covering the wider site and the other PPiP will cover an area of land located within the wider site.

The Clapperton site, owned by Amber REI (Agriculture), part of Amber REI (Holdings), is part of the Scottish poultry supply chain but currently comprises ageing poultry sheds and surplus land.

The intention is that the value realised from the Drumshoreland development could underpin a more than £150m package of investment back into the Scottish food and agriculture sector, through the company’s poultry supply chain operations. Current facilities at the Clapperton site will be relocated elsewhere in West Lothian.

About 1,800 homes, including 25% classed as affordable, are proposed as part of Drumshoreland Garden Community and will be brought forward by Elan Homes (Scotland), a sister company of Amber REI.

Original housing numbers have reduced to accommodate the need for more mixed-use elements which were raised during initial consultation with local groups.

Initial 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.

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The development will also seek to embrace the philosophy of ‘a 20-minute neighbourhood’ as promoted by the Scottish government, where people can meet most of their essential needs within a 20-minute walk. The philosophy also means having easy access to greenspace and a local environment that encourages active travel to promote health and wellbeing.

A combination of the Drumshoreland development and other investment across Scotland in the agriculture, food and tourism sectors could see the potential for £425m (£275m for Drumshoreland and £150m across the rest of Scotland) being invested, supporting 5,750 jobs and delivering new low-carbon facilities.

Other parts of the plan include investment in new poultry processing facilities at Coupar Angus, upgrading of a feed mill, provision of new hotel at Edinburgh Airport, a new animal feed mill located in the Central Belt and new farming space across West Lothian.

A spokesperson from Amber REI (Agriculture) said: “We are delighted to be submitting these planning applications to West Lothian Council which follows significant pre-application consultations with the local community and other stakeholders. This could deliver significant investment not only in West Lothian but across Scotland as a whole.

"As an exemplar low carbon community Drumshoreland will not only deliver much-needed housing, including affordable housing, but employment, education and community facilities in a unique parkland setting.

 “It would also deliver significant post-Covid investment amounting to more than £150 million into the poultry processing supply chain across Scotland, creating jobs, both directly and indirectly, as well as delivering a low carbon future for the agriculture sector.”

Planning and development consultancy Turley is providing planning, strategic communications, economics, heritage & townscape and sustainability services for the scheme.  Masterplanning and place-making services are being led by Optimised Environments, including integrated architecture and landscape disciplines.

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