As part of the wider East Lothian community Longniddry is treated in the same way as any other village or town in the County in taking its share of the housing requirement.
That is why the site around Longniddry Farm, located to the south of the existing village, has been allocated for development in the Proposed Local Development Plan (PDF page 25). There are also a number of specific reasons that make Longniddry the right location for further development:
- The new development is highly sustainable, being within a 5-minute walk of the village centre and shops, and 10-minute walk of the railway station. It is also in close proximity to regular bus services. This means that any development can use existing public transport and be less dependent on travel by car.
- The village has existing services, facilities and infrastructure within walking distance and with the capacity to be shared with some new development. This makes any such development more viable and sustainable than having to start from scratch.
- In recent decades very few new homes have been built in Longniddry, leading to evidenced demand, especially for new families and young couples. House prices in the village are above average for both East Lothian and Scotland. In addition, there is the need for a variety of housing, particularly downsizing opportunities for older people, and other tenure options such a rented and shared ownership as well as affordable housing.
- The new development can support and improve existing services and infrastructure, such as the transport network.
- East Lothian Council has confirmed that there is existing capacity at both Longniddry Primary School and Preston Lodge High School, and that both schools can be expanded at the appropriate time in the phasing of the new development.
- The future viability of the primary school is of concern due to an ageing local population leading to declining local pupil enrolment, but new development will help to counter this.
- The new development is deliverable, the land is available and there are minimal abnormal costs associated with developing at the proposed locations.
Significant commuter growth has resulted in passenger crowding issues on the North Berwick line. Platform lengthening at North Berwick will enable the operation of six-car trains.
Abellio Scotrail is to introduce new six-car trains on the route late 2017. Six-car trains will increase current capacity by 50 per cent and will provide sufficient capacity through to 2035 and beyond.
It is hoped that the first homes within this development will be occupied by late 2017, meaning that the additional capacity will be in place as this development comes forward.