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Populations to rise in hot spots

Villages braced for surge in housebuilding

Gullane Bents
Gullane Bents: popular spot

Hundreds of homes will be built in one of Scotland’s most popular commuter villages, increasing the population by 27%.

Two developments have been given the go ahead in Gullane and are the latest in a number that will transform some of East Lothian’s hot spot locations.

Cala Homes’ Saltcoats and Fenton Gait East sites in Gullane have both been earmarked as preferred development sites throughout East Lothian Council’s Local Development Plan process. 

In its presentation to East Lothian councillors, the developer acknowledged that the development of more than 300 homes represents a 27% increase in the total number of homes in the village.

Despite this, the scale of development proposed is proportionate with other allocations and considerably less than some.

North Berwick is set to experience a similar 27% growth, whilst Longniddry is proposed to grow by 42%. Significant growth of 49% and 36% is also being promoted at Musselburgh and Haddington respectively. 

Apart from being desired locations to buy homes, they are also some of the most visited in Scotland and form part of Scotland’s “Golf coast”. Gullane is home to Muirfield, a host venue for the Open Championship, and the Gullane Bents is one of the top-rated beaches in Scotland.

Tony Thomas, a planning director, said: “In sticking to its considered wider strategy to deliver new homes, the decisions to grant approval is a success for the regional democratic system and the wider county on the whole.

“As East Lothian Council is challenged with delivering over 10,000 new homes, these developments form a crucial part of the highly scrutinised and locally determined LDP process – and ensure that Gullane is set to take a fair share of new homes.

“Refusal could have resulted in East Lothian not being able to meet its housing supply targets, leaving the authority vulnerable to hostile planning applications succeeding through the planning appeals process.

“There have been a number of high profile examples of this in East Lothian and this outcome would be potentially damaging to other communities in the region. 

“Approval keeps the LDP on track – and ensures that CALA can deliver two sustainable and high quality developments in a highly desirable part of the county.”

Fenton Gait is situated on farming land on the eastern edge of the town and has been identified for 48 homes. A further 150 will be built at Saltcoats Field on the south-eastern edge of Gullane.

Approval for these sites comes two months after the go-ahead was given for the firm to develop Gullane’s former Fire Service Training College – which is being  restored and augmented to provide 125 homes. 

Despite a slight delay in commencement of demolition works due to delay in safe termination of the telecommunication mast and associate services, the first homes are on track to be delivered by summer 2018.

Cala Homes, which has its national head office in Edinburgh, has had a long association with the coastal villages and towns in East Lothian, including current developments in North Berwick, and has previously developed in Gullane. 

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