A West Lothian teenager’s fight to save the developers’ otter habitat


A local teenager who is fighting against development projects on a waterfront site that would destroy the homes of otters and other wildlife has collected more than 1,100 signatures of support.

Robertson Homes has already appealed just weeks after West Lothian Council refused planning permission for the New Calder Mill Road site in the conservation village of Mid Calder.

A petition opposing any development of the site has now been started by Lucy Joseph, 15, who said she is “deeply concerned about the wildlife” in her community.

READ MORE: West Lothian whiskey distillery gets green light for huge expansion despite fears of ‘black mold’ for homes

As the Local Democracy Reporting Service pointed out last month, Robertson applied for planning permission to squeeze 125 homes onto land on the south bank of the Almond River on land east of the busy roundabout in Lizzie Brice. The land is in open countryside with a row of mature trees and gently slopes down to a stretch of the Amande.

The appeal was filed with the Environmental Planning and Appeals Division (DPEA) a few weeks after the refusal of authorization by local elected officials. The DPEA recently gave the green light to the construction of more than 100 country houses between East Whitburn and Whitburn and also overturned council’s rejection of a massive expansion of the Glen Turner Distillery’s maturation facility.

Lucy filed a petition on Change.org which quickly garnered over 1,000 signatures.

On her petition page, she said: ‘We have already witnessed how overdevelopment has destroyed wildlife and green spaces in East Calder. Fields in neighboring villages lost habitats for animals, destroyed trees and abandoned animals due to lack of vegetation and lost hedgerows. This is causing a massive strain on our infrastructure and with any introduction of additional housing we will be at breaking point.

“Our villages in Mid Calder and East Calder are losing the countryside, fields and wildlife that make us beautiful villages to live in. We are getting closer to towns due to the acquisition of so many new residential developments.”

The planning application faced over 50 objections, including the village community council, as well as neighboring Howden community council when it was submitted to West Lothian council in mid-February.

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Many villagers fear the loss of habitat for the otters, deer and other wildlife that inhabit the 17-acre grounds. There are also fears that village infrastructure such as roads and services such as GPs can no longer cope with the development.

You can sign the petition at:- https://www.change.org/p/the-scottish-parliament-help-save-mid-calder-s-field-from-development


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