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It's good news week...... again

Three stories reported in this weeks Bo'ness Journal confirms that things are on the up in Bo'ness and the belief held by many community activists that change is just around the corner is set to become a reality.

Avon Place Development, Corbiehall
It is hoped that the public enquiry to be held regarding the proposals to build 48 flats at Corbiehall and welcomed by all interested in the regeneration of both Bo'ness Town Centre and surrounding area will eventually end the 'pipeline blight' that has been the BP Forties Field legacy for more years than many can remember.

Local businessman John Meikle sees this public enquiry as crucial in building a case against the BP Forties Field gas pipeline which comes ashore at Bo'ness.

Everyone interested in the regeneration of the town centre believes the pipeline which serves BP's gas plant at Kinneil Kerse - and the accompanying restrictions associated with the 'consultation zone' - is the major stumbling block to progress in the regeneration of Bo'ness town centre.

Each and every proposal regarding new build or change of use within the consultation zone attracts the statutory attention of The Health and Safety Executive.

They consistently advise against development within the zone citing public safety. Falkirk Council has successfully challenged the HSE objections in the past and in consequence, the refurbishment of Dymock's Building is now under way after a previous inquiry found in its favour.

A Reporter has been appointed by The Scottish Executive to head up a forthcoming public inquiry and will chair a pre-inquiry meeting in the Municipal Buildings, Falkirk Council on Tuesday, January 14, at 7pm.
Alistair McNab, head of the Health and Safety Executive in Scotland will be in attendance, as will the towns elected representatives and members of the planning department. The meeting will set out the ground rules for the public inquiry proper.

Councillor John Constable, convener of the planning committee, said "I will vigorously support Falkirk Council's decision to approve Mr Meikle's planning application which is in accord with our development plan for the town centre".

John Meikle commented "The more people who attend and who voice their opinion the better It might not necessarily influence the Reporter but it will let him see how keen we are to regenerate our town".

Local MSPs have been called upon to put pressure on the Scottish Executive over what is regarded as the "pipeline blight" which has stifled any development in the past and has to be challenged at the highest level and Community councillor Ken Wright has been drumming up support for the pre-meeting. He said "I cannot stress how important the success of the outcome of this meeting is to the future development and regeneration of Bo ness Town Centre. This is the first real step towards getting a significant development in Bo'ness approved within the BP Pipeline Consultation Zone".

Everyone is urged to attend, if possible, to at least show solidarity for the long term plans for the town. Otherwise, like the plans for the internet cafe within the former Bo'ness Burgh Chambers at Seaview Place, which also went to a public inquiry after the council voted to give consent against planner's advice they might also be dropped and nothing happen again.

The delays caused by incessant need for public enquiries have to be put to a stop once and for all and now is the time for the public to show their support for their town, their children and the future of Bo'ness.

See you all there..........

Harbour Re-opening

Confirmation that there was a site visit by a 'heid bummer' from the Scottish Executive to inspect Bo'ness harbour and dock means that the re-opening of the harbour for pleasure craft is that much closer and could see the harbour open in time for the start of next year's sailing season.

Hippodrome Sports/Leisure Centre
Journal reporter Allan Scott confirms that fears regarding the viability of proposals to convert the Hippodrome into a leisure facility may be unfounded. Community councillors met with a consultant representing West Lothian Leisure (the developers) and there is now growing confidence that the scheme will get 'off the blocks' after all.

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