A DEAL has been struck for dozens of homes in a new town backed by Sir Tom Hunter in West Lothian.

Winchburgh Developments Limited (WDL) announced that a new contract has been agreed with Robertson Homes to sell land to the housebuilder for 53 new four, five and six-bedroom homes.

It takes the total number of homes now contracted to be built in the second phase of the Winchburgh masterplan to 146. The overall £1 billion, 3,450-home development will encircle the village of Winchburgh, seven miles from Edinburgh Airport.

Negotiations are also under way with additional developers to conclude agreements which will account for about half of the phase two housing programme, scheduled to deliver a total of 1,000 new homes by 2025.

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Building work is due to begin imminently, with the first Robertson homes expected to be released for sale early next year.

John Hamilton, WDL chief executive, said: “The contract with Robertson is an important step towards delivering the 1,000 new homes we will complete in the second phase of residential building at Winchburgh.

“The masterplan for Winchburgh is very quickly gaining pace.

“As well as the 146 plots now contracted, we’re in negotiations to conclude agreements for more than 50 per cent of the phase two housing programme.

“West Lothian Council is in consultation to build three new schools during phase two and work is already under way on the 78-acre Auldcathie District Park. We have also recently announced a new contract with Scottish Canals to build a new marina at the centre of the town, making Winchburgh an extremely attractive option for people looking for a new property.”

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Tony Rankin, land director at Robertson Homes said: “Further to our success with our development in Mid Calder, we are excited to be back in West Lothian delivering 53 houses from our new Artistry luxury range in Winchburgh.

“Winchburgh is such a beautiful rural location and with a mature tree belt on one side and rolling countryside views on the other, combined with the easy commuting distance to Edinburgh it is the perfect setting for our executive family homes.”

Winchburgh is described as one of the largest and most exciting place-making projects currently under way in the UK delivering new homes, improved transport links, employment opportunities, state-of-the-art schools and stunning new outdoor spaces to the historic town.

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Spanning 352 hectares, the development will add to the 588 homes completed in phase one.

When complete the masterplan will deliver at least 3,450 homes, including 700 affordable homes of which 400 will be for social rent, with WDL responsible for delivering the overall masterplan.

Sir Tom's West Coast Capital said earlier that it is making a multi-million pound investment in coming decades in the Winchburgh.

He bought into the project in 2007 and West Coast's confidence in the Winchburgh plan has increased after the company won backing for the project from one of the UK's biggest insurers and struck key agreements with the Scottish Government and West Lothian Council to support work on the related infrastructure.

His firm has formed a joint venture with Cala Homes to invest in the development and delivery of the new town.