The 0.787 hectare brownfield site was the location of the former Blackburn Community Centre and its adjoining car park, along with the site of an adjacent former petrol filing station. The community centre relocated into the new Blackburn Partnership Centre and the redundant building was demolished in 2019. The adjacent area of land housed the fuel storage tanks which have been removed.
A number of offers for the site were received in 2021 and the council had agreed to accept an offer from Abernethyn Properties Limited. However, Abernethy Properties Limited subsequentlysought to significantly reduce their proposed purchase prices which was not considered to be in the council's best interests and not delivering best value for the taxpayer. As a consequence, the council then withdrew from the proposed sale.
The site was openly remarketed for sale again in May 2023 and a number of commercial offers were received. There were no offers or expressions of interest received from the community. Council Executive today agreed the sale of the land to Graham Developments (UK) Limited for the sum of £262,300 subject to planning consent being secured. The proposed future use is for a new residential development of 25 one and three bedroom affordable homes.
A spokesperson for West Lothian Council said:
"When the council sells unused land, proceeds from the sale help to fund investment in infrastructure projects such as schools, parks, roads and care services for vulnerable people. The sale of unused land is therefore an important funding stream that allows us to continue to invest in services for local people. There are obviously added benefits to the community in that unused land is regenerated and used for another purpose."
If delivered, the proposed development would support the redevelopment of Blackburn Town Centre and support the council's affordable housing objectives