There have been 13 “expressions of interest” since West Lothian Council put part of the 1960s development out to test the market.
It was agreed in February to seek a development framework for the eastern end of the development in Linlithgow’s High Street. The initial marketing exercise sought responses to a “ development opportunity-mixed residential and commercial”.
A report to West Lothian Council Partnership and Resource Policy development and Scrutiny Panel (PDSP) said: “The site has been listed on the commercial property advertising website NovaLoca, which is the main site used by local authorities and is the framework supplier for West Lothian Council. A property advert was placed in national and local newspapers including The Scotsman, The Herald, The Linlithgow Gazette and Journal and the West Lothian Courier. “
A large advertising board was erected at The Vennel site itself to attract potential local / passing interest in the development.
The report, by estate manager Paul Kettrick, added: “Corporate communications colleagues were engaged to advertise the site on the council’s social media channels, including Facebook with several ‘bulletins’ issued advising expression of interests being sought. In addition to the formal marketing due to the nature of the site and local interest there was good local and regional awareness.”
Mr Kettrick told the meeting: “There is likely to be sufficient demand for successful mixed use development. We can progress confidently now. Regular updates will be presented when key milestones are reached and taken back to the Executive when decisions are needed.”
Mr Kettrick said that contact with residents and businesses had been limited to the planning process so far but gave an assurance there would be engagement as the proposals progressed. He also said that the council would build social and community benefits into the parameters of its design brief.
The report outlined the initial development framework being put together over the next few months, with the site going onto the commercial market between November and February.
It is hoped a partnership is formed with developers next Spring and work will start on site in early summer 2022.