REMARKABLE planning documents have been uncovered, dating back to 1907, which show how one of Scotland’s most picturesque seaside towns was expected to grow.
The painstakingly laid out plans, on thick parchment, were hand drawn by a skilled draftsman, in detailed colour, showing exactly where new homes, business and industrial units should go in Gullane, East Lothian.
Now the rare, vintage documents, based on 1907 Ordnance Plans, have been made public by a local resident.
The woman, whose family has lived in Gullane for generations, asked not to be identified and says she has become disillusioned with the claims of a campaign group set up to oppose new housing developments in the area.
She added: “My family has lived here for many years and I have been increasingly upset by the way the community is being portrayed as ‘anti-development’. This group seem determined to pursue their own self-interest agenda, irrespective of whether it is good for Gullane or not.
“Worse, it is often portrayed as if it is the view of the entire Gullane community, when it definitely is not. Many long-time residents like me are ok with the village expanding, provided it comes with investment in facilities.
“I have seen the village expand over my lifetime, and each time the prophets of doom appear. The fact is people do not like change, but we need to accept that we have responsibility to our future generations to house them appropriately, not to tell them that the village is closed meaning our young people have to find a home out with the village.
“Gullane is not a museum. We should be looking to get the most out of development working with developers to make sure Gullane grows in the best possible way”.
Renowned Scottish builder CALA Homes hopes to create 200 much-needed new properties in the village across two greenfield sites, earmarked in East Lothian Council’s Local Development Plan as ideal for new homes.
However, the proposals have met with opposition from a local campaign group, which states that the development of the former Fire Service Training College should be the only development permitted in the village. The group is opposed to further development in Gullane, despite the fact that East Lothian needs 10,000 new homes and that the Council wants every community to take its share.
Derek Lawson, Land Director with CALA Homes (East), said: “When these plans were shared with us, our first reaction was to be truly amazed at the scale of the growth originally planned for Gullane.
“It entailed a southern bypass, extending from Luffness at the west to Archerfield to the east, with new housing and employment planned around Greywalls.”
In 1907 Gullane extended to 66 hectares, but this plan suggested it should increase to 159 hectares, (a 140% increase).
Now Gullane comprises 107 hectares and the proposed sites at Saltcoats and Fenton Gait would add 12 hectares. That would be an 11% increase on the existing geographical size of the village -but significantly would still be far less than the vintage plans suggested.
Mr Lawson added: “Those opposed to new homes have suggested that increasing the size of Gullane through greenfield development would cause problems ranging from the collapse of local infrastructure to food shortages.
“These claims simply don’t hold water. In fact, Gullane has grown far less than those planners anticipated all those years ago. That is why there is such pressure for new homes in Gullane today and why house prices in the area are considered so unaffordable.
“Our proposals for these sites would deliver a wide mix of housing types and sizes, including 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes. It will also include 25% affordable housing and we’d also invest in roads and schooling, as required by the Council planners.
“We’re proud of our strong track record in enhancing the communities where we develop, and of supporting community groups and causes. That includes many developments across East Lothian, where the majority of buyers came from the local area.”
FIND OUT HOW YOUR BUSINESS COULD BENEFIT FROM THE EXPERT PR SERVICES OF OUR AWARD WINNING AGENCY
To find out how we can achieve results like this for you call us on 0131 561 2244 or fill in the contact form below and we will get back to you.Contact Form