THE family business of former Rangers owner Sir David Murray has gained permission for hundreds of homes and shops for a new community near Motherwell.

Murray Estates secured planning approval from North Lanarkshire Council for 638 houses, along with associated infrastructure, landscaping and open spaces at its Torrance Park site, east of Holytown.

The announcement marks the second phase, following on from the initial part of the Torrance Park development, which involved the construction of 270 houses between Avant Homes and Taylor Wimpey and is nearing completion, with a new clubhouse for Torrance Park Golf Club, and road improvements.

READ MORE: Murray Estates gets go-ahead for 638 homes in Lanarkshire

As well as the homes element of the development, the phase two plans include a neighbourhood retail centre and new pedestrian crossing to the A723 to enable a safe route from the development to Holytown.

The proposal received no objections from local residents and was approved unanimously by North Lanarkshire Council’s planning committee.

It is anticipated that work will begin in the first quarter of 2020.

Housebuilders Taylor Wimpey and Barratt are Murray Estates’ delivery partners for this phase of the project.

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Russell Wilkie, director at Murray Estates, said the move would bring a “positive contribution” to the area.

He said: “We are pleased to have received the support of North Lanarkshire Council for the next phase of Torrance Park.

“Together with our delivery partners, our vision with this project is to deliver a vibrant residential-led, mixed use development which will make a positive contribution to the community.

“The fact the plans were approved unanimously by the planning committee is testament to the strength of the proposal, and we are glad that the local council was able to reach a swift decision.”

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Based in Edinburgh, the Murray business has extensive land interests across central Scotland and is one of the largest private landowners in the Scottish capital.

Murray Estates is a subsidiary of Murray Capital, which recently saw plans for its International Business Gateway Project, the £500 million office, leisure and residential development west of Edinburgh, called in by the Scottish Government planning minister. That decision came after the project was granted planning permission in May.

The company is also awaiting a verdict from the Scottish Government on its proposed £450m Edinburgh Garden District project, which was called in by ministers in February last year.

That plan, which received planning permission in June 2016, proposes the development of 1,350 new homes, a primary school, nursery and a 40-acre park in a new village next to Royal Bank of Scotland’s Gogarburn headquarters in Edinburgh.

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Those two projects are considered “key game changers” for the company.

Murray Capital also owns and operates the Torrance Park Golf Club, which currently has more than 400 members.

Last month Murray Capital Group reported that it had made a loss of £1.75m before tax for the year ended December 31, which saw the firm continue to invest in its property development business, after a profit of £360,000 the year before.

Companies House showed the turnover rose to £78.7m from £73.4m, boosted by an increase in revenues generated by Murray Metals, the group’s metal stockholding and processing business, but it booked exceptional item of £1.209m - relating to the tax treatment of payments made under a sharebased payment scheme run by a portfolio company – and that charge accounted for the bulk of Murray’s pre-tax losses for the year.

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The company’s accounts show that work is also under way at Kingdom Park in Fife, where the firm is developing 1,100 homes, new retail units and leisure space in Kirkcaldy over the next 10 years.

The company said earlier that it continues to see opportunities to invest in businesses in Scotland and England, often as a co-investor with private equity and venture capital partner, and noted that deals continue to be done despite the backdrop of political uncertainty.

Earlier results also showed a boost after a £1.2m gain from the sale of land at Torrance Park to Avant Homes

The company also earlier completed the sale of commercial property Exchange Plaza in Edinburgh to M&G Real Estate for £54m.