more than 300 new homes will be built in Gullane after East Lothian Council gave the green light on plans for two new developments despite protests against the impact of increasing the local population.
Sites at Saltcoats and Fenton Gait East were earmarked as preferred development sites in the East Lothian Council’s Local Development Plan – and housebuilders CALA Homes will now start work.
The completed developments will represent a 27 per cent increase in the total number of homes in the village which local campaign Gullane Opposes Over Development (GOOD) say is the equivalent in Edinburgh “of five areas the size and population of Leith being suddenly added to the city with no public transport links connecting it”.
A GOOD spokeswoman said: “We were dismayed and concerned over East Lothian Council’s decision to allow development on the green fields surrounding Gullane.
“We were disappointed to observe the vote go in favour of the proposals by CALA to build to the south of the village despite heartfelt concerns over road safety, environmental issues, schooling, medical provision and lack of public transport.
“However, CALA publicly promised at the meeting that they would develop the Fire School first, Gullane residents fervently hope that this will be the case.”
Fenton Gait is situated on farming land on the eastern edge of the town and has been identified for 48 new homes.
A further 150 homes 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 to provide 125 new homes.
Director of planning and development at CALA, Tony Thomas, 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.”
Despite delays at the former fire station site, the first homes are on track to be delivered by summer 2018.