Army barracks proposed for Kirknewton

Expect the unexpected – that’s what they say.  With a three year development plan about to be proposed by the Kirknewton Development Trust it seems we will not only have to consider the potential renewable project and rail/road developments but the building of a new army base too! 

When researching the history of the village you cannot escape the time when RAF Kirknewton housed the American airforce between 1952 and 1966.  You cannot escape what happened to the village when they left.  There is a feeling that community spirit is returning to the village, not because of a campaign, an outside influence or an industry but because of the people who chose to live here, many of whom want to be part of  improving where they live and would like to see the facilities to support that change – with or without an army base on the doorstep! 

The Kirknewton facebook group has gone crazy on the Ministry of Defence news announcement and this morning West Lothian Council announced a statement about the latest chapter of Kirknewton history…

The Council welcomes plans for new barracks

West Lothian Council has warmly welcomed the news that new barracks will be built at Kirknewton by 2016/17.

Leader of West Lothian Council Peter Johnston commented: “We warmly welcome the announcement that a new military base is to be located in West Lothian.

“We are confident that this development will be extremely positive for our area in terms of investment, employment and infrastructure. “While we have only just heard we look forward to working closely with the Ministry of Defence and the Scottish Government in the future concerning the proposals and to ensure that the best interests of the locally community are fully considered.”

West Lothian’s Veterans Champion Carl John added: “While the news that Craigiehall, Dreghorn, and Redford Barracks are to close will be sad for some, there is no doubt that new barracks at Kirknewton is positive for West Lothian.  

“It is widely acknowledged that investment by the Ministry of Defence in an area brings economic benefits to the local community. We would hope that the development would help to sustain existing businesses and hopefully encourage more investment into the area.  

“West Lothian has close connections to the armed forces and recently bestowed the Freedom of West Lothian on the Royal Regiment of Scotland.”


  1. James Thomson has e mailed this comment –
    The MOD site near Kirknewton is in Midlothian / Ratho Parish – it would
    help if this Peter Johnston actually knew where West Lothian was !!

    There is a few square meters at the A70 T-junction where MOD and West
    Lothian co-exists – but its only a tiny fraction of the MOD land.

    “Leader of West Lothian Council Peter Johnston commented: 展e warmly
    welcome the announcement that a new military base is to be located in West

  2. Whilst at one time the former airbase and Kirknewton Village were both in Midlothian that has not been the case since the local government reforms in the mid 1960s. Today the village is in West Lothian and most of the airbase site is in Edinburgh. Mr Thomson assumes that the new base will be located on the former airfield. However when the army and before them the USAF were based at Kirknewton the main camp was on the west side of the B7031 which land is now in West Lothian. Mr Thomson appears to assume the base will be built entirely on the existing airfield site. In which case Edinburgh will be the planning authority responsible for planning approval. If that is the case Kirknewton residents may have little say in the planning process. Nevertheless the benefits and any disbenefits will mostly impact on Kirknewton.

  3. Let’s not forget that in the past the barracks housed a Battalion, around 600-650 men. This time the barracks are going to accommodate three or four times that number. This means major changes in the area and a huge impact on the local population. Apart from the barracks where are they going to build the 1500+ married quarters they’re going to need?

  4. Rather saddened by the comments in the local papers from MSP’s and councillors asking for army housing to be passed on to local authorities. Don’t they know that Kirknewton is only seven miles from the the military housing in the Colinton/ Dreghorn areas. The housing will be required for the married personnel who serve at Kirknewton.
    One assumes that no married quarters will be built in the village, cannot cope with present infrastrucure.

    Archie Hill

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