West Lothian Council’s Development Management Committee agreed planning permission in principle to allow the owner, AN Scottish Commercials, which runs a garage opposite the vacant lot, to build on the site.
The garage failed to win planning permission to continue using the site to store cars in 2019. The site had been scrub land after the hotel was demolished in the 1990s, until AN Scottish Commercials obtained temporary planning permission to store cars there in 2015. The firm was told to clear the site after failing to gain permission to continue that use of the site.
Now Andrew Nisbett, owner of the garage business, wants to develop the site for flats. Neighbours expressed concerns that this would mean more vehicles parked on the road in what is already a busy part of the village.
Planners backed the proposal – suggesting up to four flats could be built.
Their report added: “This would result in a long-term solution to the unauthorised use of the site for the storage of commercial vehicles and result in an improvement to the visual amenity of the area for both residents and visitors.”