Longniddry Development proposals draw a crowd

Just over 39% interested or know of someone interested in looking for a new home in the development

Just under 200 people turned up to view and give feedback on proposals by developer Socially Conscious Capital (SCC) – development partner of the Wemyss & March Estate (WME) – for the sustainable expansion of Longniddry.

A revised Masterplan for the expansion of the village, including around 450 new houses and a range of potential community benefits – such as new health facilities and football pitch – was presented at a public exhibition at the Longniddry Inn on Friday 16th January and Saturday 17th January.

It is estimated that the development will trigger around £71m in capital investment while creating and sustaining 142 jobs over a 10 year construction period.

Feedback forms completed at the event indicated that over 39% (39.4%) of respondents were interested in or knew of someone interested in looking for a new home in the development, with 44.7% not interested and 15.9% registering a Don’t Know response. This is reflective of the clear desire for new housing in the village, especially for older people looking to downsize and for young people and new families looking for homes.

This is reinforced by findings indicating that half (50%) of respondents felt that the most needed housing in the village was starter homes for young people and new families followed by over 40% (40.2)% who felt that smaller bungalows or flats for older people looking to downsize within the village was the most needed.

When it came to priorities for the village over 63% (63.3%) of respondents viewed a new GP surgery/health hub as a top priority followed by over 30% (30.1%) who viewed extra station car parking as a priority for the village.

Land would be provided to NHS Lothian within the development for a new Health Centre, although NHS Lothian will not be able to commit to a new facility until the development is underway. Additional car parking would also be provided on the south side of the station as part of the development together with the potential expansion of the existing car park on Wemyss and March Estate land on the north side of station.

When it came to the issue of traffic improvements half (50%) of respondents viewed traffic lights at the A198/B6363 junction as their top priority for the village followed by over 23% (23.8%) who viewed narrowing lanes along Main Street to slow down speeding cars as a top priority. New traffic lights would be provided as well as a new pavement, with improvements made to Main Street to slow down traffic and the widening of Coal Rd all the way up to the A1 to make it safer.

The event followed the publication by East Lothian of its Main Issues Report (MIR). This sets out the Council’s proposals for development in East Lothian, including where development should and should not happen. It also identifies any reasonable alternatives to the preferred approach.

The MIR is now out for consultation and will feed into the Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP), guiding future development in the County.

A southern expansion of Longniddry is viewed in the Main Issues Report (MIR) as being “a reasonable alternative development opportunity” by East Lothian Council.

It is not currently a Preferred Site because the Council lists a number of questions that they hadn’t previously had answers or solutions to. These include the requirement for transport infrastructure improvements, further detail on how any expansion to the south of the railway line could be integrated with the wider landscape and existing community, as well as education provision.

The public exhibition served to outline potential solutions to some of these outstanding technical issues. SCC believes it has now found solutions to the outstanding issues and that the proposed development should now be allocated in the Local Development Plan.

Rock Feilding from Socially Conscious Capital said:

“We are delighted with the turnout and the strong support there clearly is for our development from a number of quarters. The fact that over 39% of those who fed back to us were interested or knew of someone interested in a new house in the development is telling and we have already had requests from a number of people for a house.

“This is borne out by the feedback indicating that half see starter homes for young people and new families as most needed followed by over 40% who saw a need for smaller bungalows or flats for older people looking to downsize within the village.

“We look forward to continue working with the local community to deliver on our proposals for the sustainable expansion of Longniddry.”

Background

Between September and November 2013 SCC and WME commissioned the Prince’s Foundation to undertake an Enquiry by Design exercise in the village. This delivered a Vision and Masterplan for the potential expansion of Longniddry, delivered through a series of public meetings and design workshops, providing local residents and stakeholders with the chance to shape the emerging proposals.

That work recommended that the village could expand by 450 new houses, with the potential to deliver the following benefits:

  • affordable homes for local families
  • downsizing opportunities for older people wanting to stay in the village
  • new amenities like cafe/restaurant, shops, farmers’ market
  • new football pitch
  • new GP surgery or health hub
  • small and affordable offices for local businesses
  • additional car parking spaces at the train station
  • interventions to slow down traffic along Main St and make crossing safer
  • green walkways and cycle routes
  • community orchards and gardens
  • connecting and integrating with existing village – within 5 min walk of village centre
  • minimising the need for travel by car and using public transport instead, being within a close walk of the train station
  • new development carefully designed to preserve the character and feel of village

Further information at: www.longniddrydevelopment.com.

ENDS

About Socially Conscious Capital

SCC is a family-controlled development business committed to the principles of Sustainable Urbanism: we want to build new developments that have a mix of uses, housing types and tenures, that are walkable and encourage sustainable modes of travel, that are in keeping with the local vernacular and sensitive to distinctive local styles, and that people will want to live and work in for hundreds of years to come. We believe that by building such communities, with a real sense of place and belonging, we can maximize the value of the development while ensuring social, environmental, and economic benefits for local people – that is why we are called ‘Socially Conscious Capital’.

SCC was established in 2009, but our management team has over 40 years experience in the property development, investment, and management sector. Between us we have secured planning permission for over 10,000 new homes and have worked on many significant development and regeneration projects.

Further information at: www.sociallyconsciouscapital.co.uk/