Stonehouse New Town 1972 to 1975

Scotland’s New Towns were developed under the direction of Development Corporations established and enabled by the New Towns Act of 1946.

The New Towns were seen as a part of the brave new culture of the post-war period.

There are five Scottish New Towns – East Kilbride, Glenrothes, Cumbernauld, Livingston and Irvine.  The sixth planned New Town – Stonehouse – was ultimately to be a New Town too far.

The last of these Development Corporations, East Kilbride (which, ironically, was also the first Dev. Corp.), was wound up in 1996.  This 50 year span was an amazing period of time for a government policy to survive, through various changes in government style and economic circumstances.


The factors leading to the proposal for a New Town at Stonehouse evolved over a number of years starting in 1963 with a Government white paper that recognised the potential of the area for industrial growth.

The designation order, bringing the New Town into existence, was published in 1972.

In January 1973 the task of planning the sixth New Town was given to the East Kilbride and Stonehouse Development Corporation and meetings were held in Stonehouse and Blackwood to involve the public in the planning process.

An Outline Plan, completed in April 1974, had the following key features:

  1. initial intake of 35,000 people – rising to a maximum of 70,000
  2. construction of 22,000 houses in new residential villages
  3. creation of four employment parks to provide 30,000 jobs
  4. development of four areas of ecological or scenic importance
  5. priori