£275m West Lothian low carbon development submitted for planning
Proposals for the delivery of a £275 million residential-led mixed-use development and relocation of existing farm space to new state-of-the-art facilities have now been submitted to West Lothian Council.
Situated at the current Clapperton poultry farm complex just east of Livingston, ‘Drumshoreland Garden Community’ will comprise a vibrant sustainable development of 108 hectares.
This will include open market and affordable housing, employment, educational and other community facilities, delivering hundreds of jobs both in construction and in the completed development. Located within a substantial new parkland setting this includes 19.9 hectares 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) Ltd, part of Amber REI (Holdings) Ltd, is a key component of the Scottish poultry supply chain but currently comprises ageing poultry sheds and surplus land.
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, delivering state-of-the-art operations.
Around 1,800 homes, including 25 per cent affordable homes (c. 450) are proposed as part of Drumshoreland Garden Community and will be brought forward by Elan Homes (Scotland) Ltd, a sister company of Amber REI. The low carbon community will also serve to address a significant historic housing land supply problem in West Lothian.
Original housing numbers have reduced to accommodate the need for more mixed-use elements which were raised during initial consultation with key local groups.
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 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.
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. It 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 state of the art low carbon facilities.
The initial plan is to improve, replace and expand elements of the Scottish poultry supply chain, strengthening this vital and significant rural employer.
This would include:
- Investment in new processing facilities at Coupar Angus
- Upgrading of feed mill and provision of new hotel at Edinburgh Airport
- A new animal feed mill located in the Central Belt
- New sustainable farming space across West Lothian.
These new state-of-the-art low carbon facilities will create jobs both directly and indirectly through the supply chain. The delivery of these improved facilities will also serve to assist in improving standards in the sector while making a major contribution to the Scottish Government’s target of a net-zero society in terms of greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
Commenting on the proposals, 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 £150m 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 placemaking services are being led by OPEN (Optimised Environments) including integrated architecture and landscape disciplines.