Education contributions pave way for housing

After calling in an appeal for their own determination the Scottish ministers granted permission in principle for 120 houses on over six hectares of derelict farmland outside a village in West Lothian.

Giving significant weight to the adopted local plan, Scottish Ministers did not follow the recommendation of their reporters that the appeal decision should wait for their decision on another planned scheme on an allocated redevelopment site in the same village, in order to avoid prejudicing that large scale housing project of around 900 houses and delivery of a new primary school.

Finding a housing shortfall, the reporters determined that subject to appropriate financial contributions to address education capacity issues, the development should be permitted but advised waiting for the scale of development on the allocated site to be fixed so that the necessary level of contributions to primary school places to make the development acceptable could be ascertained.

Scottish Ministers took into account the reporters' conclusion that the appeal proposal in isolation could probably be accommodated within current school provision and since the hearing an emerging local plan had been adopted that allocated the site for 120 houses linked to site delivery infrastructure requirements, a significant material consideration weighing in favour of allowing the appeal site. Following completion of a satisfactory planning obligation, permission in principle was granted.

Reporters: Dan Jackman and Claire Milne; Hearing

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