By Ian McConnell

PLANS to build more than 900 homes on the site of a former psychiatric hospital, which  includes 15 listed buildings, have taken another step forward with agreement between developer Ambassador Group and West Lothian Council of community benefits as part of the conditions of the site’s approved planning permission in principle.

These include the restoration of listed buildings within the 215-acre Bangour Village Estate along with the construction of more than 900 energy-efficient homes within newly created “linear parkways” using "well-established woodland within the site".

The agreement ensures the retention and refurbishment of 11 of the existing listed buildings, including a grade A-listed Church that will be refurbished and “returned to the community”.

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A new community retail hub will also be created and there will be significant investment in education provision, including the construction of a new primary school within the estate using the site’s original grade A listed recreation hall.

No less than 20 per cent of the homes within Bangour Village Estate will be dedicated to affordable housing. The agreement, which forms part of the planning conditions, also details Ambassador’s intention to deliver a district heating system for the benefit of residents.

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Gordon Coster, managing director of Ambassador Group’s developments division, said: “This is a major milestone in bringing our vision for Bangour Village Estate to fruition and shows our commitment to integrating with the local community. We hope it recognises, respects and cherishes the heritage of Bangour in such a way that our reimagining brings this iconic and much-loved site back to life.

“These community benefits are essential in establishing the necessary infrastructure and environment we would like to achieve here, bringing circa £150m of investment into the area over the 10-year project. We are delighted to have reached an agreement with West Lothian Council as we move forward through the detailed planning process.”