Scottish Government approves East Lothian Local Development Plan

East Lothian Council can now proceed with providing land for more than 10,000 new homes after the East Lothian Local Development Plan 2018 (ELLDP 2018) was approved by the Scottish Government.

The ELLDP 2018 will be used by the council to help determine all planning applications which are put forward by developers. It sets out where certain types of development will generally be acceptable and where certain types of development will not be supported.

The LDP:

  • Allocates a generous supply of land to provide for the 10,050 new homes required of the LDP and identifies land at Blindwells capable of providing for some 4,500 homes in the future. It also allocates some 200 hectares of employment land for job creation (one hectare is equivalent to around one football pitch).
  • Includes a transport strategy with provision for network capacity improvements including new rail stations, platform lengthening at existing stations, new and improved strategic road junctions, as well as improvements to the local road network and a dedicated walking and cycling route from Dunbar to Musselburgh.
  • Has a matching community infrastructure package including new and expanded schools as well as community, healthcare and recreation facilities.
  • Has policies protecting green belt land, special landscape areas and countryside around towns as well as our wider diverse cultural and natural heritage assets. It also supports our transition to a low carbon economy, enhanced digital connectivity and sustainable waste management.
  • Among the sites identified in the LDP are Craighall near Musselburgh, where land is allocated for a significant mixed use development including 1,500 homes, new employment adjacent to Queen Margaret University, as well as the delivery of new infrastructure such as new education facilities, strategic road interchange and land for enhancements to Musselburgh rail station.

    The LDP also recognises the significance of the former Cockenzie Power Station site, which was acquired by East Lothian Council earlier this year. While national policy reflects that the site is of national importance for energy development, the council is also working with local communities and exploring opportunities to attract investment to the site which supports the creation of jobs locally and enhances the environment.

    A significant area of land is identified for the creation of a new mixed community at Blindwells, which is to the north of Tranent between the A1 and East Coast Main Rail Line, where there are opportunities to improve transport infrastructure. This new town will provide opportunities for the delivery of new homes, including affordable housing, as well as jobs, retail and leisure facilities and new education, healthcare and community facilities.

    Taken together this is a proposal of real significance that will allow key employment sectors within East Lothian to diversify and grow and give people the opportunity to live close to where they work.

    Councillor Norman Hampshire, cabinet spokesperson for the environment, said: “We’re very pleased that Ministers have backed the LDP, which supports East Lothian Council’s ambitions for an even more prosperous, safe and sustainable county, in which all of our people and communities can flourish.

    “This follows a huge amount of work within the council and significant public consultation. I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to this process.

    “The LDP provides us with a sustainable strategy for jobs and homes, making the best use of existing infrastructure whilst allowing for new infrastructure including new schools and improved transport networks.”

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