Victoria Halls, 88-94, High Street, Linlithgow
General Details and Location
Category of Risk and Development History
September 2006, October 1999, June 1995, September 2006, 01/05/2008
23 December 1994: The Linlithgow Journal and Gazette reports that different developers have twice been refused permission to demolish the building, despite the recommendation of West Lothian planners. The future of the halls is now to be decided by Public Inquiry, starting on 24 January. The owner, a Mr Trevor Taylor Esq., claims the building is crumbling and that he does not possess the necessary funds for restoration, estimated at over £1 million. A plan for the Bank of Scotland to move into the ground floor premises has now fallen through.
31 January 1995: The Edinburgh Evening News reports that the owner's plans to demolish the halls to make way for houses and an office block have been condemned by 2 local councillors at the Public Inquiry. The safety and security of the building is reportedly checked by local planners at regular intervals, and there is concern that demolition may prove premature. Some councillors have expressed a hope that even if the main fabric is demolished, the façade can be retained and incorporated into the development. Part of the building continues to be used as an amusement arcade. A takeway restaurant also operates from the halls, the remainder of which lie empty.
17 February 1995: The Linlithgow Journal and Gazette reports that the Scottish Secretary has turned down the owner's appeal, who now intends to market the building.
10 March 1995: The Edinburgh Evening News reports that West Lothian Council Planning Committee is urging Historic Scotland to list the building. It is hoped to convert the halls into a community arts centre and theatre.
November 1996: The current owner markets the property as a potential cleared site open for development.
November 1998: The building remains on the market due to a high asking price. SCT receives information that West Lothian Council would consider redevelopment of an appropriate quality if it incorporated some of the existing gabric.
14 April 2000: The Linlithgow Gazette reports that the building currently holds Outline Planning Permission for conversion into a Christian teaching centre. However, another scheme to develop the building into a public house is also advanced. The latter scheme would retain the fabric and façade.
November 2000: A change of use application for the £1 million conversion of the halls into a J. D. Wetherspoons public house and restaurant is granted.
March 2003: Local planners report that Wetherspoons has now abandoned its purchase of the halls.
January 2006: linlithgow Advertiser reports tht Edinburgh -based property consultants Gioco is in the final stages of purchasing the Halls. They have plans to transform the Halls in to an upmarket, family oriented entertainment venue.
September 2006: External inspection shows building to remain boarded up.