Laura Bilton is new Kirknewton Youth and Volunteer Officer

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Kirknewton Community Development Trust are happy to announce the employment of Laura Bilton as our new Youth and Volunteer Officer. Laura begins in May and joins us from The Action Group, where she was an employment advisor, youth group worker for young people with additional support needs and support worker. She also previously volunteered for the Kirknewton Youth Group.

For the first time ever ALL our staff currently live in Kirknewton, which is a great achievement and meets our objective to create local employment when we can.
Laura joins us until our current funding stream ends in July 2018. Big hello to Laura, it’s great to have you on team Kirknewton.


Kirknewton agree community ownership option at revised Fauch Hill windfarm

wind-turbinesKirknewton Community Development Trust has agreed Heads of Terms to provide ongoing funding to support the Kirknewton Community Development Plan.

The majority view of the communities in Kirknewton and West Calder and Harburn have been expressed to planning via the recent community consultation which was undertaken.

As you may be aware Kirknewton Community Development Trust have for the last 11 years worked tirelessly to create an income stream for community activity, to the benefit of the whole community, particularly by investing in renewable energy.  We have faced several disappointments along the way, largely due to external factors, despite majority community support.

We have managed to survive thanks to the Lottery supporting our work and ambition within the community, providing a better start in life for the young in Kirknewton right through to those approaching retirement with our current housing project.  Community spirit and engaging volunteers, supporting local business and creating employment, providing care for those in need and supporting young parents/carers and improving activities for teenage children can all be evidenced.  We have shared our experiences and see an active and vibrant sector across West Lothian which identify need based on community consultation and informed development plans, rather than listening to a small and vocal minority who shout the loudest.  This is very welcoming.

We cannot stress enough, however, that for Kirknewton Community Development Trust this ends on July 2018 when our considerable lottery funding comes to an end. 

The surprising and revised Fauch Hill windfarm is our only hope for continued funding and maintaining the work we do alongside various stakeholders and community groups who do wonderful things around Kirknewton.  With ownership of a ‘virtual turbine’ on the table to support our Development Plan work we intend to make this known as a priority for us over the next couple of months.  For that reason we hope you will encourage and support the Fauch Hill wind farm proposal, particularly at planning stage.

From the research undertaken, supported by Kirknewton Community Council and the Trust, the Kirknewton community (and we are aware the results in West Calder are dissimilar) tell us

“Across the three elements of the consultation (household survey, online survey and surveys completed at the Boralex exhibitions) there were 406 responses from the Kirknewton Community Council area. Of these, 43% indicated support for the proposal (19% strongly support, 24% tend to support) set against 14% that indicated opposition (10% strongly oppose, 4% tend to oppose). The balance was made up of neutral responses (31% neither support nor oppose, 12% don’t know).”

Now that this socio-economic component may be considered as of material value in current planning decisions we wish to emphasise the importance of the income that would be earned on a continuous, long-term basis providing stability in funding that will allow the Kirknewton Community Development trust to plan developments in the certainty of a sustainable income derived from our fractional ownership in this development over the 25 year lifetime of this project.

The majority of the community supports this development as does this Community Trust. We believe that ordinary folk recognise that we must accept responsible for the long-term sustainability of our planet on behalf of future generations. Scottish government has ambitious targets for carbon  reduction , for generation of electricity from renewable resources and for the ownership by community bodies of renewable energy generating capacity . This project meets all those needs.   The offer made to the two host community bodies, and to the wider West Lothian community through West Lothian Development Trust,  by the proposer of this development is generous as loan finance is offered on a non-recourse basis. It is unlike offers made to Scottish communities by any other developer as it underwritten by guarantees that facilitate ownership without financial risk or penalties and consequently we recommend that this project is granted full consent by our local authority acting on behalf and to the benefit of the communities that it is elected to represent.

This application goes to planning soon and your view has been shared via the community consultation that was undertaken to get the majority community view on this windfarm.  Thank you for showing your support.

Kirknewton visited Scottish Parliament about airport expansion last night…

I would say there were about 20 community councils represented at tonight’s meeting in a full committee room at the Scottish Parliament. Angela Constance, Alistair Stewart (Con) – who left right after I spoke – Mark Russell(Green), Alison Johnstone (Green) and another Green MSP, plus a professor, and a government statistician from Edinburgh Airport Watch were present.


Though most were against the Airport’s proposals there was keenness not to be dismissed as a group of nimby’s. One community councillor said her brief was that her area might benefit from increased employment at the airport – though the statistician had already shown slides demonstrating how each airline industry job is effectively subsidised to the tune of £50,000 by the tax discounts on fuel, VAT and duty that the industry benefits from compared to other businesses.
Points were made about lack of restrictions on night flights, that London’s Airports apart from Heathrow were intentionally built outside populated areas etc.
A letter will be circulated shortly for Kirknewton Community Council agreement to sign. Mark Russell and EAW intend to draft it with the main point being taking all factors into account, including the fact three affected communities were initially excluded by postcode from responding, the inaccuracies and mistakes in the Airport statistics, that the Airport should abandon this process immediately. That any new consultation should wait until the CAA’s CAP725 process is in place and be conducted with credible evidence and genuinely accessible materials.
There was in fact much interest in the response from the Airport to our letter, some aghast that it was possible the Airport could refuse to consider our response and insist on a response via the website – despite the obvious deficiency that it is difficult to include a diagram in a text box.
It was interesting to meet Helena Paul and Airport Watch, people who discovered during the TUTUR trial from 2015 that the airspace over their heads at Blackness mattered much more than they had previously thought.
Meantime, if you regard peace and quiet of the air above you as a public asset, please write to your local councillors, MPs and MSPs, preferably before the 7th of May, asking them to apply all possible pressure in councils and Parliaments to have the CAA reject EAL’s deeply flawed proposals. 
Given all the elections currently going on, there is a very good chance they will be “all ears”.
Please also ask the MSPs to support Neil Findlay’s motion S5M 04708.
That is to be debated next week. As I can walk to the Parliament for a lunch hour I have already booked my ticket for 12:45 next Thursday the 27th. If you can spare the time, Professor Greenhouse made an appeal for as many as possible to turn up in the public gallery in order to demonstrate to MSPs that this issue matters to many people. Tickets are available from the Scottish Parliament by calling 0131 348 5000 / 0800 092 7500.
If you haven’t already done so get your thoughts in for the second part of the airport consultation at
John Thomas

Kirknewton Community Council response to airspace consultation

Dear Sir,

Volunteers in local communities have limited time, resources and expertise to respond to proposals from well resourced corporations. Nevertheless Kirknewton Community Council believes there are significant flaws in Edinburgh Airport Limited’s Airspace Change proposals. At the very least EAL should withdraw the current consultation and start again ensuring that information on which decisions are based are accurate now and in the known future.

As an example of this from P43 of your consultation document, Calderwood is planned to have 2,800 homes on completion. This represents a population of around 10,000 very close to the new A6 Standard Instrument Departure route but not taken into account by the change plans. East Calder – population around 6,000+ – is presumably included in Livingston. As you will see on the next page, to say flights are further away from this population is factually inaccurate.

Airport table

In reply to responses from the communities affected, EAL said:

“The route does not fly over Kirknewton, East Calder or Mid Calder but does pass closer than current operations. As we have explained not all towns and villages have been included in the population matrix.”

airport 2Why were all towns and villages not included in the population matrix? It cannot be any part of a reasonable consultation to discard evidence because it does not suit the proposer’s case. In the map extract clearly Calderwood and the new developments around Raw Holdings are directly overflown.

In addition, sound reduces in volume with the square of the distance. Turboprops will overfly Calderwood and East Calder as low as 2000ft. Today they pass over Livingston nearer to 4000ft. Twice the distance equals one quarter of the volume. So even if the number of people overflown is less, the impact of the noise on residents of East Calder, Calderwood and Kirknewton is likely to be significantly greater.

But is the number overflown actually lower?

airport 3

In order to accommodate tripling the jet departure rate from one every three minutes to one a minute, turboprops are to be turned south more quickly over Calderwood, East Calder and Kirknewton. B5 is as the airport says the existing GOSAM route to the west then south. Given that the proposal amounts to three flights in the same time as one, the B5 route represents a 50% increase in overflights of Livingston.

On page 143 of the consultation document, Letters of Agreement with other airspace users contain an agreement with the Ministry of Defence to allow safe operation of gliders at Kirknewton Volunteer Gliding School. When this agreement is activated at weekends and during school holidays, the claimed benefits of sending turboprops over Kirknewton will be negated.

Reverting turboprops to the route over Polbeth will increase jet departure intervals to the same as now. This appears to negate this aspect of the proposed change entirely as airlines presumably cannot base schedules on whether the air cadets happen to be flying on a particular day in the future.

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Kirknewton Community Council respectfully requests that Edinburgh Airport Limited withdraw their current SID and STAR change proposals and if necessary come back with proposals that are consistent with a properly identified need.

Yours faithfully,

John Thomas, Treasurer Anne Pinkerton, Vice Chair

On behalf of Kirknewton Community Council

Charles Jencks artwork – expressions of interest for facilitator or landscape artist required


Expressions of interest.

Deadline 30th April 2017

Kirknewton Community Development Trust are looking for a skilled facilitator or landscape architect with a local office who can help turn sketches by Charles Jencks into detailed drawings and into buildable art. You will need to deal with reinforced concrete, drainage, angle of repose of earth, Health and Safety requirements and have the general architect/landscape skills required.

This is for a piece of art designed by Charles Jencks, that will be the gateway of the village to the East. Information on the proposal can be found camps-junction-art-booklet.  Expressions of interest should be sent to by 30th April 2017.

KCDT are currently at the second stage of a community asset transfer of the land, planning has been submitted, part funding in place with a current application being made specifically for community art. It is expected work could begin in June/July 2017. 

Charles Jencks was heavily involved with Maggie’s Centres and Jupiter Artland – further information on him can be found at!

Spring into Kirknewton


Today spring has certainly sprung into Kirknewton.

The Yarnbombers have been out wishing us all a Happy Easter!

The Muddy Boots and school parents/carers are out in the garden at the front of the primary school, looking after the area and raised beds (that were donated by the Kirknewton Community Development Trust a few years ago).  Thanks to Carl John for his £100 contribution to the work the Muddy Boots do.

Finally, Richard Irving is back on site after the winter break at the Community Woodland to complete the Sensory Garden.

If you fancy your own Spring Clean this winter don’t forget to sell, swap or give away your unwanted items on the Kirknewton facebook page here

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