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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 November, 2004, 14:04 GMT
Age rule on new housing estate
Building work
Work on the estate is due to be completed by 2006
People under the age of 50 are to be banned from buying homes on an upmarket new estate in West Lothian.

A total of 27 new properties are to be built by Alliance Developments near Linlithgow, which is in the catchment area for a popular state high school.

West Lothian Council gave permission on condition young families were not allowed to move in.

Linlithgow Academy is one of Scotland's top schools and the council says it does not want more demand for places.

The developer will have to sign a legal agreement binding it to the condition.

The Town and Country Planning Act 1997 allows local authorities to limit what is done with premises after they are built.

To grant planning permission for a number of houses that would possibly have kids would be irresponsible
Councillor Willie Dunn
The estate, in Threemiletown between Winchburgh and Linlithgow, is due to be completed by 2006.

Councillor Willie Dunn, of West Lothian Council, told BBC Scotland that the authority was trying to be "responsible".

He said: "We have real problems with Linlithgow Academy, it's one of the top 10 schools in Scotland and more and more people are trying to send their kids there but the school is full.

"To grant planning permission for a number of houses that would possibly have kids would be irresponsible of us because in the future it would cause real problems with the school."

Linlithgow Academy
Linlithgow Academy has a full intake
But Councillor Dunn added: "This policy can be reviewed, however, and people wishing to buy the homes in the future can appeal to the council on the grounds that there is more capacity in the school, or whatever their own personal circumstances are."

The ruling will apply on 11 of the estate's bigger houses.

Linlithgow Academy has consistently achieved the best exam results of any West Lothian state school and is a popular choice for parents.

In 2002, the school was at the centre of a legal battle when a sheriff ruled that the council was wrong to refuse places to children living in the academy's catchment area, forcing the school to add an extra class.

School places court victory
14 Feb 03 |  Scotland
Court fight over school places
27 Aug 02 |  Scotland

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