Homebuilder helps to put East Lothian towns on the right path
Locals and visitors to Gullane are a big step closer to enjoying a safe, four-mile pathway to the nearest railway station thanks to the actions of a major homebuilder.
For 15 years the Drem-Gullane Path Campaign has been calling for an off-road path to take pedestrians and cyclists away from the busy B1377 and has built widespread support from a cross-section of the community.
Now the group has cause for long-awaited celebration, with the first stretch of the path officially underway, courtesy of CALA Homes (East), at its Marine Rise development in the village.
In the coming weeks CALA will build the first quarter mile, of a one mile stretch starting from the corner of Fenton Road and Main Street, eventually stretching the length of the C111 to West Fenton.
CALA is simultaneously progressing plans for the remaining first phase, with the path also continuing on land at upcoming developments Fentoun Meadow and Saltcoats.
Jordon McKenna, Site Manager at CALA’s Marine Rise development in Gullane, said: “As a responsible developer, we want to be able to bring benefit to the wider community.
“This path will be a precious resource for locals and visitors. Credit to the campaign group for its persistence and patience, we’re thrilled to be able to play a role in this tangible first build.
“While we’re still advancing plans for the remainder of the first phase to West Fenton, we must also thank the work and engagement of the various landowners whose land it will traverse – including Luffness Estate and West Fenton farms.”
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Spokesperson for the campaign, Iain Monk, said: “We are delighted to finally see the diggers moving in to start work on the first section of the path. This is a significant milestone for our 15-year campaign, which commands widespread support across the community.
“Pedestrians and cyclists should be able to travel safely between Drem and Gullane, free from the busy and dangerous main road.
The Drem-Gullane path will transform our coastal communities and the lives of the people who live in them. It will also attract visitors to the area, which will be good news for local shops, pubs and restaurants.”
The tangible progress has also been welcomed by local politicians from across the political spectrum.
Kenny MacAskill, MP for East Lothian, said: “This is great news. Safe, family-friendly active travel options are essential for both commuters and citizens alike. This new pathway will be good for the health of local residents and our environment. Campaigners, CALA and local landowners are to be commended for making it happen.
“After declaring a climate emergency seven months ago, East Lothian Council must act now and ensure the remaining sections of the path to Drem are delivered as a matter of urgency.”
Iain Gray, MSP for East Lothian, said: “I have always supported the campaign for the development of a safe, off-road path linking Gullane and Drem, so I am pleased to welcome the start of work on constructing this stretch of cycle/footpath from Gullane to West Fenton.
“This has come about as a result of positive collaboration between CALA Homes and local campaigners and will offer a new option for active travel in the area as well as supporting local businesses. I commend those who have worked hard to secure it and look forward to the benefits it will bring.” **See Notes to Editors for a further supportive quotes from MPs and MSPs**.
The benefits of the path’s construction to local businesses has been noted by the community.
General Manager at The Old Clubhouse Bar and Restaurant, Dominic Campanile, said: “The Old Clubhouse is delighted to see construction start on a one-mile path from Gullane to West Fenton. As a local business, we are in no doubt about the positive economic impact it will have on the area.
“It will be a fantastic asset for the community and we want to tap into the thriving cycle and walking tourism sector. Attracting more visitors to the area will be good for all the businesses in Gullane.”
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To take a look at CALA’s available properties in Gullane, please visit: https://www.cala.co.uk/gullane
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