West Lothian Council objects to housing near Jupiter Artland



West Lothian Council has objected to plans to build 2,000 new homes near the award-winning sculpture park Jupiter Artland

The land beside Jupiter Artland is one of five greenbelt areas earmarked for possible new housing by Edinburgh City Council. However, West Lothian Council objected to the proposals urging that that would have a significant impact on the “magnificent woodland”.

Robert and Nicky Wilson, the founders of the park, fear the plans would spoil it forever and described the idea as “Edinburgh’s least sustainable housing proposal”.

The two have claimed that the landscape at the park would be “irrevocably destroyed” by the new housing, which could deter artists from creating bespoke work there.

The National Trust for Scotland, Antony Gormley, creator of the Angel of the North, and Ian Rankin, the crime writer, have voiced calls for a rethink of the proposals, The Times reports.

Lawrence Fitzpatrick, the leader of West Lothian Council, said: “In our view, the proposal has not been justified in terms of impact on local facilities, it isn’t a sustainable extension to the existing community and will have a huge adverse transport impact.

“It includes areas of magnificent woodland with an abundance of wildlife. Local people have enthused about its beauty with their increasing walks during lockdown.”

A spokeswoman for Jupiter Artland added: “Meaningful public consultation has been hampered by the pandemic, which is why it is doubly important that West Lothian council’s strong objection to be heeded.”

Neil Gardiner, planning convener at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “As a city, we’ve made clear our preferred choice for future development in the forthcoming City Plan is for sustainable ‘brownfield’ development within the city urban area.

“The council is carefully considering all of the comments made during the consultation and will take a proposed plan to a future committee. At that stage we’ll consider whether to include this site as a potential area for housing.”



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