Construction has now begun on the new Winchburgh Development near Edinburgh. Valued at an estimated £1 billion and spanning around 900 acres of land, the West Lothian development is expected to add a further 8,000 people to the current population of Winchburgh, making it the sixth largest town in the county.
On completion the new town will include 3,450 new homes - some of which will be affordable housing - as well as two community secondary schools (one denominational and one non-denominational) on a joint campus, up to three new primary schools, a brand new town centre with retail and commercial opportunities, leisure facilities and a number of parks and children's playgrounds.
Major improvements to the area's transport infrastructure are planned to cope with the increase in traffic as a result of the village's extension. These include a proposed junction off the M9 motorway and road connections to the neighbouring town of Broxburn. Two park-and-ride facilities and a railway station are also planned to provide easy access to Edinburgh, which is around eight miles away.
Cathy Muldoon, Executive Councillor for Development and Transport at West Lothian Council said: "The start of the Winchburgh Core Development Area is good news for West Lothian. The expansion of Winchburgh is a key objective of the West Lothian Local Plan. The new housing, jobs, schools and community facilities will be of great benefit to local people. We look forward to working with the developers and the local community to make sure that the development is a success."
Phase one will see 550 new properties built by 2017, with work beginning on the new homes next month. Sigma Capital Group plc has already contracted Barratt Homes and Miller Homes to construct the first 180 of these new homes in Scotland.
The Winchburgh Development is considered to be the largest urban community project in Scotland and is estimated to take 15 years to fully complete.