Plans to build 998 new homes at Bangour Village Hospital approved

West Lothian Council has approved planning permission in principle for a residential development of 998 new homes with retail facilities at the former Bangour Village Hospital in Dechmont.

Many of the details, including the number and type of housing units, have to be decided by the council’s Development Management Committee before detailed planning permission can be granted that would enable the development to take place.

The decision to grant planning permission in principle was approved today yesterday.

The applicant, Allanwater Developments (Bangour) Ltd, also owns the site.

Bangour Village Hospital lies to the west of Dechmont and north of the A89. It is a large site of nearly 90 hectares and includes a number of listed buildings set within mature landscaping.

The application in principle approved today includes a revised access from the A89 (which is currently under construction), provision of new areas of public open space and landscape enhancement along the burn corridor and woodland management.

The developers also plan to build footpath connections within the site and surrounding area and develop a district heating system.

The plans also include a local village shop and potential for café/restaurant/community uses, a new primary school incorporating the A listed recreation hall and the demolition of 4 C listed buildings and the partial demolition of the B listed nurses’ home.

Under the plans, the developers will repair and retain 11 listed buildings including the A listed church and the A listed recreation hall.

The buildings proposed for demolition have also been chosen, in consultation with Historic Environment Scotland, because of their advanced state of disrepair or because they are of lesser heritage value.

In approving the development, the council’s reports stated that it is imperative that restoration and conversion of the listed buildings – 6 C listed buildings, 3 B listed buildings and the former recreation hall and church (both A listed) – are delivered within the early stages of the development.

A design guide would have to be agreed in advance which would require that boundary planting is retained or replaced to ensure that any phases of development close to the site boundary do not become overly visible when viewed from open countryside around the site.

It was agreed that further applications for development on the site which do not comply with the design guide will not be supported. The application that has been approved will require a detailed design guide being put in place and further assessment and protection of trees, which may result in it not being possible to build 998 units on site.

In order to mitigate traffic impacts in the village, the developer will fund a package of traffic management measures and the developer is also required to submit a travel strategy which will include appropriate levels of funding for public transport connections to the train stations and other services.

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