Plans for 2,000 new homes in West Lothian | Warning of 'biggest increase in redundancies in a generation' | Ryanair expects new travel advice to open up most of Europe

Plans for 2,000 new homes in West Lothian | Warning of 'biggest increase in redundancies in a generation' | Ryanair expects new travel advice to open up most of Europe
Plans for 2,000 new homes in West Lothian | Warning of 'biggest increase in redundancies in a generation' | Ryanair expects new travel advice to open up most of Europe

Proposals have been put forward for a low-carbon development that will see the construction of up to 2,000 new homes in West Lothian, helping to address the area’s historic shortage of land for housing development. 

Situated at the current Clapperton poultry farm complex located east of Livingston, Drumshoreland Garden Community will feature a range of type, size and tenure of homes, including 500 affordable homes. Proceeds from the development will be used by Amber REI, owner of the farm complex, to underpin a £100 million package of investment back into the Scottish food and agriculture sector. 

The housing will be brought forward by Elan Homes, a sister company of Amber REI. The new low-carbon community will seek to embrace the “20 minute neighbourhood” philosophy – where people can meet most of their essential needs within a 20-minute walk – with a mix of employment, education and other community facilities. 

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Amber REI has submitted two Proposal of Application Notices (PANs) for Planning Permission in Principle (PPP) to West Lothian Council. These PANs formally note that planning applications will be submitted “in due course” to establish the principle of development on the site. 

The development will be the catalyst for a £100m investment package to improve, replace and expand Amber REI’s poultry supply chain in Scotland. This will include redevelopment of an existing feed mill at Edinburgh Airport, construction of a new animal feed mill located in the Firth of Forth, and new sustainable farming space across West Lothian. 

“We are delighted these exciting proposals are being brough forward and that they will deliver significant investment not only in West Lothian but across Scotland as a whole,” a spokesperson for Amber REI said. 

A leading think-tank has warned that the UK is on course to suffer the biggest increase in redundancies in a generation during the second half of this year, based on lay-off notifications by employers hit by the coronavirus shock to the economy. 

The Institute for Employment Studies said around 650,000 people, and potentially a lot more, are likely to be made redundant between July and December: “Sadly, much of this restructuring appears now to be inevitable,” it said. 

Redundancy notifications are running at more than double the levels of the 2008/09 recession. Around 450,000 could lose their jobs during the July to September period – 50 per cent more than the quarterly peak during the global financial crisis.

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However, the IES added that it is not inevitable that the high level of redundancies will lead to mass unemployment if people are able to find jobs with new employers. 

The EIS is calling on the Government to cut the costs of employment to boost hiring and provide “tightly targeted” wage support in industries and areas that remain viable in the longer-term. 

Ryanair expects the European Commission this week to unveil a new system of Covid-19 travel advice that will open up most regions of the continent to travel without quarantine, chief executive Eddie Wilson has said. 

The European Commission earlier this month proposed a common traffic light system for EU member states to coordinate border controls and remedy the current confusing patchwork of coronavirus restrictions on travels across Europe. 

“I think you’ll see the vast majority of Europe and UK returned into a green zone and then it’ll be up to the individual health authorities to follow up on track and tracing them,” Mr Wilson told Ireland’s RTE radio. 

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