Tom Hunter venture secures agreement on 3,450 new homes and schools for West Lothian



One of the UK’s biggest housing-linked infrastructure projects is to be delivered in Winchburgh after a deal was struck between a new joint venture, the Scottish Government and West Lothian Council.

Winchburgh Developments Limited (WDL), a newly-created joint venture between private equity partnership West Coast Capital (WCC) and CALA Homes, will invest in the development and delivery of the overall masterplan across 347 hectares.

The development will include a total of 3,450 new homes, new schools and a range of infrastructure including improved transport links, a new marina, a 75-acre district park and 35 acres of employment land.

The overall masterplan will unlock sites for multiple house builders, and ease pressure on housing needs across West Lothian including some 700 affordable houses, and more than 400 for social rent.

Sir Tom Hunter, founding partner of WCC, paid tribute to the Scottish Government and West Lothian Council for their support for the development.

He said: “Both West Lothian Council and the Scottish Government have played a critical role in securing this long-term development for Scotland.

“Having already delivered over 558 homes in the first phase with five national housebuilders we now look forward to moving forward with many more housebuilders to deliver much needed homes for West Lothian in the next phase of development.”

(from left) David Dodds, West Lothian Council; Fiona Hyslop MSP; John Hamilton, Winchburgh Developments Limited; Derek Mackay, cabinet secretary; Sir Tom Hunter, West Coast Capital

The overarching agreement will see West Lothian Council build new state-of-the-art schools. The schools will be forward funded by the council with support from the Scottish Government but ultimately will be paid for by house builders across West Lothian via receipts from the roof tax as housing is developed.

In support of WDL’s infrastructure investment, the Building Scotland Fund is lending the joint venture £26.8 million towards the development on a secured and interest bearing basis.

Phase One of Winchburgh saw five private housebuilders; Barratt HomesMiller HomesBellwayStewart Milne Homes and Taylor Wimpey active on site, with the expectation that many more will participate in the ongoing development. In addition, West Lothian Council’s housing department and Wheatley Group, through its subsidiary West Lothian Housing Partnership, delivered 96 affordable housing units for social rent in the new town centre.

CALA chief executive, Kevin Whitaker, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with West Coast Capital to help fund and deliver a high quality, sustainable development that will bring multi-tenure housing, education and infrastructure to West Lothian. Following the acquisition of CALA by Legal & General last year, we have the appetite, expertise and capability to work on ambitious large-scale projects such as Winchburgh.

“West Coast Capital has worked incredibly hard over the last eight years to bring the site to this advanced stage. We now look forward to working with them and other stakeholders to deliver the next chapter of this exciting project, including the Scottish Government and West Lothian Council whom have played a pivotal role in the progression of the development.”

Paul Davidson, managing partner of WCC, added: “This joint venture with CALA is truly transformational for WDL and the overall Winchburgh development and we look forward to working with CALA, West Lothian Council and the Scottish Government to realise the ambition and vision of the Winchburgh development.”

John Hamilton, CEO at Winchburgh Developments Limited, said: “It’s a huge achievement for all parties involved to have reached this point where the plans we have made can start to become a reality. The masterplan for Winchburgh goes far beyond building new homes. This is set to be one of the most exciting placemaking projects in the UK, which will bring new education facilities, a significant number of permanent jobs, and improved transport links to the area.”