West Lothian Council’s Development Management Committee agreed to give temporary two year planning consent to Jane Thomson ofWest Lothian Plants to use around half of the car park at the back of the Chalmers Hall, 25 Main Street, Linlithgow Bridge, to set-up ahorticulture business for the supply of garden plants.
The plans will see the erection of a boundary fence and a temporary shed, storage tent and poly-tunnel.
There were 12 objections to the plan, including one from the local community council. Objectors mainly focused on the loss of potential parking in the area. Transportation officers raised no objections to the plans because of limited traffic movements to and from the site.
But Councillor David Tait said: “The issue of traffic impact is what I’m concerned about. It’s dismissed in the report but anybody who uses the hall knows there’s a problem.”
He pointed out that children from neighbouring streets used the traffic island opposite the entrance to the car park to cross the road and asked what kind of study had been done to say there were no issues. Photographs accompanying the report showed few cars but the reality, said Councillor Tait, was a very busy road with a lot of parked cars.
Transportation officer Chris Nicol said the assessment had been made on the basis of very little vehicle traffic movement by the applicant. Planning officer Wendy McCorriston confirmed that during summer months there would be deliveries twice a week, but at other times twice a month.
Councillor Tait asked: “Is it the intention that this delivery vehicle is going to stop on the main road just outside the entrance? I can’t accept that is safe. Anyone who knows the road would suggest that a lorry stopping there would not be safe. It’s a dangerous piece of road. I think we need it absolutely confirmed that this has been looked at properly.”
His concerns were echoed by fellow SNP member, Councillor Willie Boyle.
In a vote planning permission was granted for two years by five to three.