Work begins on 78-acre district park

WINCHBURGH Developments has announced that I&H Brown has started work on a new 78-acre district park in a contract worth £6 million.

The move follows a consultation, where members of the Winchburgh community contributed ideas and gave feedback on options for the design and layout of the park.

The first phase of the park is scheduled to open in spring 2021. An estimated 31,000 trees will be planted. The original design extended over 45 acres, but this expanded to 78 acres with the final plan including meadows and woodland areas. Play areas have also been incorporated to suit different age groups from young children to teenagers.

A café will be located in the centre of the park, with community growing areas and orchards nearby. The design also includes a 2.5-kilometre loop of accessible paths, which will connect with the Union Canal towpath, as well as a mountain bike track and fitness trails.

Auldcathie Park will be situated adjacent to the new schools’ campus area, which is to be located on former farmland on the south east boundary of the park site and will feature playing fields and sports pitches. Within the masterplan area there will be two new secondary schools and at least two new primary schools.

John Hamilton, CEO of Winchburgh Developments Limited said, “The new Auldcathie District Park is an integral part of the Winchburgh masterplan, bringing important new green infrastructure to the area and connecting the town via a network of blue and green links. The response from the Winchburgh community to this project has been fantastic, and their ideas and recommendations have been incorporated into the final design for the park, which will provide important new recreational facilities benefitting the health and wellbeing of the people living and working here.

“We will continue to maintain contact with the local community as the park naturally evolves over time. Over one-and-a-half-acres of the park will be transferred to Winchburgh Community Growers, and we are also assessing wider opportunities for a potential community management scheme on a long-term basis.”

Alastair Lewis, technical director at Sweco, who are supervising the remediation works commented, “We’re delighted to be supporting the restoration of this derelict landfill site. This is creating a valuable community asset, and at the same time enabling the safe development of the schools’ campus area on the adjacent arable farmland. The engineering design has been undertaken by a highly experienced team of environmental and geotechnical consultants and ground gas specialists, in consultation with West Lothian Council’s environmental health department, to ensure the safe delivery of this public resource.”