Plans to bring historic house back into use

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PLANS have been unveiled to bring one of Livingston’s best known historic buildings back into use.

The 18th century Howden House was sold in November to Whitburn-based firm, Planview Ltd, which has revealed its plans to transform the house.

Tom Gardner, commercial manager for Planview, said: “Howden House is a wonderful building with a rich history and fantastic location in the heart of Livingston. We are extremely pleased to have bought the house and look forward to progressing with our plans to transform the house.

“We intend to return the main house to domestic use and to construct 12 new houses to the rear of the building.”

The B-listed house was originally built in 1795 for Thomas Farquharson of Howden and was once home to artist Henry Raeburn and his family. It passed into private ownership in October 2004 and there were plans already approved to restore and turn the building into five flats. However, development plans fell through and the building has remained in a state of disrepair for a number of years.

Council leader Peter Johnston added: “The council has worked hard to bring the building back into life. It is an essential part of the history of Livingston and West Lothian, and everyone is determined to secure its long-term future.”