Land Securities has been advised of West Lothian Council's resolution to grant outline planning permission for its £90 million expansion of Livingston town centre following a period of public consultation. The proposals detail a mixed-use development which will extend the retail space and create a new heart for the town.
As a standard procedure, this resolution to grant outline planning permission will now be referred to the Scottish Executive for consideration. The development team is hopeful of a favourable outcome as the application is in line with national planning policy, which requires all new retail and leisure developments to take place in existing town centers, as well as the finalised Edinburgh & Lothians Structure Plan, which outlines the need for provision of new homes in the area.
Dominic O'Rourke, Development Manager of Land Securities, comments: "This decision is extremely good news for Livingston and we are very encouraged. The Council's resolution to grant outline planning permission for the scheme is vitally important for the prosperity of the town as it will fulfil its potential as a leading retail and entertainment destination. This will bring a much welcome economic boost to the area and attract a growing number of shoppers."
The plans now pave the way for Almondvale Shopping Centre to be extended with a third phase which will include an additional 25,000 ft² of leisure space and 350,000 ft² of new retail space. Shopping areas will be linked and landscaped to benefit visitors, with a winter garden and a new town 'heart' with dedicated space for events. The plans also provide 28 one and twobedroom flats, including affordable housing, an 84-bed hotel, and a new multi storey car park (1,523 spaces over four levels), plus green travel plans and an innovative Variable Messaging System (VMS) for motorists seeking available spaces. Employment opportunities for 1,614 jobs will be created in the retail, leisure and catering sectors, with 306 jobs in the construction phase.
Dominic O'Rourke continues: "We anticipate moving the scheme forward to the detailed design stage now, and will continue our programme of public engagement with councillors, the local
business community, retailers and residents to ensure that the scheme is in tune with its surroundings."
Award-winning urban design firm Building Design Partnership (BDP) has been retained as project architect and will oversee the striking expansion using modern materials and design concepts.
Dominic O'Rourke concludes: "We will concentrate on progressing the application this year and anticipate starting on site in summer 2006."
Land Securities has a long-term commitment to Livingston, including the ownership of the Almondvale Shopping Centre, Almondvale Retail Parks and part ownership of the McArthurglen Designer Outlet center. If successful, the proposed redevelopment will see the value of Land Securities' Scottish portfolio exceed £1billion.
Source: Land Securities