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West Dunbartonshire secures land for £34m project

29 Jun 20 Ownership of a 150-acre site in Bowling is being transferred to West Dunbartonshire Council, which plans an industrial and commercial development there.

The former Exxon site is currently undergoing remediation to prepare it to be used for the £34m project, which is part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal. The proposal also involves the creation of a new road to provide an alternative route in and out of West Dunbartonshire.

At a meeting of West Dunbartonshire Council on Thursday night, members were asked to consider a commercial deal with current owner ExxonMobil. Following discussion, they gave officers approval to progress the transfer.

As part of the agreement, the Council will take on ownership of the whole site. Of the 150 acres, 45 acres will be developable land, and a further 2 acres will be used for the proposed new road.

In addition, the Council will receive £1m from ExxonMobil.

All land will be remediated by Exxon Mobil to standards agreed by the Council’s environmental health team and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

Following the transfer of ownership, the council will undertake its own development works.

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The transfer of ownership follows an application for ‘planning permission in principle’ for the project made on behalf of the Council last month. It details proposals to locate office and industrial development in the Eastfield area, business in Centrefield and storage and distribution in Westfield.

The application also describes plans for landscaping, open space, green corridors and public spaces as well as the new 1.95km link road.

Inclusion of a heritage area around Dunglass Castle and a protection zone is intended to ensure the listed structure and its setting are not compromised as the site is developed.

Council officers will now begin negotiations with surrounding landowners regarding the transfer of their land ownership to enable the wider development.

Councillor Iain McLaren, convener of infrastructure, regeneration and economic development, said: “This is a significant step forward in what is likely to be one of the biggest infrastructure improvements in West Dunbartonshire’s history. This site is an excellent location for commercial use and with its introduction expected to support up to 690 full-time jobs, it a really positive proposal for our area. I am pleased to see this ambitious project continue to progress.”

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